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Co-ordinated action spurs indices
Thu, 1 Dec Closing

Although the indices in Indian stock market lost some ground during the closing stages, they nevertheless managed to end the day on a strong note. Thus, while BSE-Sensex edged higher by around 360 points (up 2.2%), gains on the NSE-Niftycame in at 105 points. Gains on BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices were relatively muted and came in at 1% and 0.5% respectively. Around 5 stocks gained for every one that witnessed a fall on the Sensex.

While most Asian indices closed firm today, European stocks are trading mixed currently. The rupee was poised at Rs 51.2 to the dollar at the time of writing.

Today's jump in global as well as Indian equities seem to be sparked by concerted action by central banks of nations like UK, US, Canada, Europe and Switzerland. The action took the form of reduction of rates that banks must pay to borrow dollars. What also helped sentiment was the move by Chinese central bank to lower bank reserves so that money could be released for lending. Will these moves solve the crisis? Not at all. The problem with central banks across the globe is that they have been trying in vain to solve a problem of excess leverage by more leverage. But this is only likely to delay the eventual crisis and fuel inflation. Thus, it doesn't look like today's rally will have particularly strong legs.

FMCG major, Hindustan Unilever was amongst the few heavyweights that closed the day lower today. The stock lost in the region of 2%. This despite reports that the company has hiked the retail prices of premium bathing soaps by 2.6%-5.5%. It is believed that the hike would help the company protect its margins that have come under threat from a falling rupee. Recently, the company board also approved a proposal for entering into a strategic alliance with Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) for distribution of the latter's telecom products by leveraging the company's distribution network in rural markets in India.

At a time when the industry is finding difficult to grow volumes, Mahindra and mahindra (M&M), the UV and tractor major witnessed a 53% YoY growth in its auto sales numbers for the month of November 2011. The 4-wheeler commercial segment, which includes the passenger and load categories, has registered an impressive growth of 74% at 13,362 units. Passenger UVs that include the newly launched XUV garnered an impressive growth of 46% YoY. Domestic tractor sales, however, suffered a decline of 5% YoY whereas exports in the same segment grew by 33% YoY. The stock closed marginally higher today.

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