Indian equity markets had a rather volatile trading session today. While the indices began the day's proceedings on a positive note, subsequent trading hours saw them barely stay afloat. Selling activity intensified in the afternoon session pushing the indices deeper into the red. There was no respite in the final trading hours either and the indices closed well below the dotted line. While the BSE-Sensex today closed lower by 209 points, the NSE-Nifty closed lower by 61 points. The BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap were not spared either and lost around 1% each. Losses were largely seen in banking, metals and auto stocks.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today while most European indices have opened in the red. The rupee was trading at Rs 63.75 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Aluminium stocks closed mixed today. While Nalco and Sterlite Industries found favour, Hindalco closed in the red. As per a leading business daily, aluminium major, National Aluminium Company (Nalco) announced results for the second quarter ended September 2013. Revenues grew by 7.8% YoY during the quarter primarily led by the chemicals business which grew by a robust 49% YoY. On the other hand, revenues from the aluminium and electricity segments were down 22% YoY and 19% YoY respectively. The company cut down its expenditure, especially fuel and power costs (down 32% YoY). Thus, for the quarter, the company reported net profits of Rs 1.8 bn as compared to a profit of Rs 47 m in 2QFY13.
The Indian economy may have slowed down considerably at present, but Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, is of the view that the economy will get back on the targeted growth trajectory of 8% after two years. For the 12th plan period (2012-17), the government had earlier set a target of 8% annual average growth rate. In the first year, growth was rather tepid at 5%, a decade-low rate. As a result, according to Ahluwalia, the average economic growth rate in the 12th Plan period will be lower than 8%. While FY14 is most likely to remain subdued, recovery is expected to take place FY15 onwards. How the growth will pan out during the 12th Plan period all depends on how the government chooses to implement reforms and the stated objectives of the Plan.