After trading firm during the post noon trading session, the Indian equity markets gathered momentum and closed the day in the green. While the BSE Sensex today closed higher by 217 points, the NSE-Nifty closed higher by 63 points. Midcap and smallcap stocks too closed in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices higher by 0.5% and 0.6% respectively. Realty stocks were the biggest gainers today. The BSE Realty Index was up by 2.9%.
As regards global markets, the Asian pack closed strong today with almost all indices closing in the green. The rupee was trading at Rs 61.3 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Auto stocks ended the day on a strong note. Tata Motors and Bajaj Auto were the biggest gainers. The stock of Hero MotoCorp jumped about 2.5% earlier today after RBI increased the FII shareholding limit in the company to 49%. Currently, FIIs own about 34.3% in the company. Increase in FII limit is likely to attract more foreign money into the stock. It may be noted that RBI monitors the FII ceilings in stocks on a daily basis and increases/decreases the same depending upon the circumstances. As an aside, Hero's two models - Hero Pleasure and Hero Maestro - have attracted strong demand due to distinct positioning. Thus, it would be interesting to see what kind of volume growth the company will display going ahead as the festive season has just come to an end.
Banking stocks have ended the day on a mixed note with the losers being led by Oriental Bank and Union Bank. As per a leading business daily, global ratings agency Moody's has retained and re-emphasized its negative outlook on Indian banks. It attributes high leverage in the corporate sector as the biggest factor that has the potential to prevent any substantial recovery in banks' asset quality. It expects this to be the case despite the uptick in economic growth seen in recent months in the country. It may be noted that Moody's outlook for the Indian banking sector has been negative since November 2011 and agency does not yet see enough reason to change its view.