The Indian equity markets continued to hover around the neutral zone during the post noon trading session. Stocks from the realty, metal and power spaces are leading the pack of gainers while those from the consumer durables and banking spaces are amongst the top underperformers.
The Sensex today is trading lower by about 60 points (down 0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is trading lower by about 20 points (down 0.4%). Stocks from the midcap and smallcap spaces are however trading firm with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by about 0.9% each. The rupee is trading at 54.6 to the US dollar.
Stocks from the capital goods space are trading firm led by Thermax, Gammon India and Praj Industries. As per a leading financial daily, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) is laying a strong emphasis on its international operations to overcome the slowdown in the domestic markets. The company is likely to make up at last USD$ 2 bn in orders lost or missed in India. L&T continues to maintain its guidance of 15% growth in order book for FY13. The company does not have a pipeline of major new projects in India as no new projects were bagged since last year. L&T is currently executing those projects that were bagged some years ago. The company is revitalizing its switch gear business through product development and acquisitions to widen portfolio. L&T is also investing Rs 5 bn in manufacturing facilities that are likely to be ready by 2013. On the back of these initiatives for cost savings and product expansion, the company wants to increase market share in the switch gear business from 24% to 30% by 2016. Presently electrical component segment comprises 6% of L&T's overall turnover.
Auto stocks are currently trading firm led by TVS Motors, Mahindra and Mahindra and Maruti Suzuki. The stock of Mahindra and Mahindra is trading firm seemingly on the back of the company's total auto sales figures for the month of November 2012 rising by over 18% YoY. M&M's utility vehicles and SUV (sports utility vehicle) sales stood at 48,143 units in November 2012 as compared to 40,722 units during corresponding month last year. M&M's domestic sales volumes increased at a pace of 23% YoY (about 97% of total month sales) during November 2012. The company's passenger vehicles - which include UVs and Verito - sales increased at a faster pace of 38% YoY. Such sales stood at 24,604 units during the month as compared to 17,813 units in November 2011.