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Metals & banks pull down the markets
Wed, 10 Nov 09:30 am

Asian markets have started the day on a mixed note. On one hand Japan and Taiwan are trading in the green. On the other hand, Hong Kong and China are witnessing some selling pressure. Indian markets have opened on a positive note. Currently, stocks from metals and banking sectors are the main losers.

The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by around 24 points (-0.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is lower by about 11 points (-0.2%). Mid and small cap stocks are trading in the positive with the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices have opened on a positive note and are trading higher by around 0.2% and 0.3% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.44 to the US dollar.

Metal stocks are currently trading in the red. Hindalco, Sterlite Industries and JSW Steel are the major losers in the sector. Hindalco, India's largest aluminium producer, declared its results yesterday. The company's revenues increased by 19%. This was mainly on the back of higher demand for both copper as well as aluminium. Sales were also boosted by higher realization rates for the metals. This offset the loss due to disruption at the copper smelter as well as higher cost of raw materials during the quarter. The company's net profits (standalone) increased by 26% during the quarter.

The company plans to commission its Mahan aluminium smelter in Madhya Pradesh by middle of next year. This unit is expected to have an annual capacity of 359,000 tons. The company has also stated that it has shut its copper smelter unit at Dahej, Gujarat, for repairing a cooling unit. The unit should be operational in two weeks.

IT stocks have opened the day on a mixed note. While IT majors Wipro and TCS are leading the gainers, Infosys and HCL Tech are trading in the red. NIIT Technologies has announced plans to acquire a company or a software product to help it gain a footprint in the healthcare outsourcing area. Its CFO has stated that the company will unveil a new strategy for the healthcare business in 2011. With the acquisition, the company hopes to gain a sizeable chunk of the US healthcare pie. NIIT Tech currently derives its revenues from banking and financial services, travel and transportation and retail industries. The company has a healthy cash balance of Rs 1.56 bn and plans to use part of it to fund the acquisition.

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