Coming off the highs seen during the Diwali weekend, the Indian indices failed to make up for the losses seen since early trades as investors maintained a cautious undertone. Stocks from the banking, IT, energy and auto sectors led the pack of losers. Commodity stocks, however, managed to buck the trend. The Sensex lost around 153 points (down 0.7%), NSE Nifty closed 39 points lower (0.6%). The BSE Mid cap also ended lower while the BSE Small cap index managed to close in the positive.
Global stocks have already hit their two-year highs and investors are expecting a correction to set in after the euphoria over the Fed's monetary easing dies down. Sentiments in Asian markets were mixed today, with China and Singapore ending the day on a firm note. Major markets in Europe were trading lower at the time of writing. The rupee was placed at Rs 44.4 against the dollar.
As per a leading business daily, the fortunes of the robust performance over the past few months have been evident in the hiring plans of Indian auto companies. Companies in the sector have led the pack of recruiters followed by those from the oil and gas, manufacturing and construction sectors. Interestingly the software, telecom and banking sector have been lagging the hiring trend. Nevertheless the dip in these could be considered as seasonal in nature as these sectors too have outlined robust hiring plans for the medium term. Having said that, as the input costs rise and operating margins come under pressure, these companies may have to confront additional pressure of higher employee costs.
Textile major Raymond declared a good set of numbers for the quarter and half year ended September 2011. The company reported 17% YoY growth in consolidated revenues for the half year period. While the standalone revenues remained flat over this period, the operating margins improved by 1% and 3% respectively for the consolidated and standalone businesses. Strong volume growth accompanied by marginal improved in realizations across product segment aided the growth in profitability. The company derived the benefit of reducing losses in the denim business as well as forex related losses. The company is currently implementing a capacity expansion of cotton shirting fabric business from the current 11.5 m meters p.a to 21.6 m metres p.a.