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Banks, IT stocks lead gains
Thu, 22 Nov 01:30 pm

The Indian markets moved above the dotted line during the post noon trading session. Buying activity is being witnessed in stocks across the board barring those from the consumer durables, power and oil & gas spaces. Stocks from the banking and information technology spaces are amongst the top performers.

The Sensex today is trading higher by about 60 points (up 0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is trading higher by about 10 points (up 0.2%). Stocks from the midcap and smallcap spaces are trading firm with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by about 0.2% and 0.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at 55.18 to the US dollar.

Real estate stocks are currently trading firm led by Unitech, Orbit Corporation and Indiabulls Real Estate. As per a leading financial daily, in a bid to revive the sluggish realty sector and thereby boost economic growth, the Finance Minister Mr P Chidambaram has asked banks to fund residential projects that are stuck in a limbo due to shortage of funds. As per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the credit extended by commercial banks to the real estate sector grew by a mere 4% for the year ended September 2012. This is lower when compared to a 14% rise in the corresponding year-ago period. The minister was discussing the problems of the real estate sector with the heads of the state-run commercial banks at a meeting in New Delhi. Earlier in August, the minister had asked banks to put pressure on builders to reduce prices in order to clear the growing inventory of unsold apartments.

Auto stocks are currently trading firm led by Escorts, Mahindra & Mahindra and Ashok Leyland. As reported by a leading business daily, Jaguar Land Rover would be spending about Rs 180 bn a year, for the next few years. These investments would be aimed towards product development with main focus on enhancing and diversifying its product range, meeting stringent emission norms, improving engine manufacturing capabilities and expanding its manufacturing footprint in emerging markets. While these investments may dampen into the company's financial performance in the medium term, it is believed that these are required to help support and strengthen the company's two key brands - Jaguar and Lang Rover - over the long run.

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