Aided by pick-up in exports of textiles, leather and chemicals coupled with dip in gold imports, India's current account deficit (CAD) contracted sharply to 1.2% of the GDP for the September 2013 quarter. The CAD which is the surplus of goods, services and transfers imported over total exports fell to $5.2 bn (1.2% of GDP) in September 2013 quarter as compared to $21 bn (5% of the GDP) in the year-ago period. On a sequential basis also, the CAD reported in the September 2013 quarter has declined from 4.9% of GDP recorded in the preceding June 2013 quarter. For 1HFY14, the average value of CAD stood slightly over 3%. In the light of the latest development, both the government and RBI are confident of achieving CAD of 2.5% of the GDP. Improvement in key economic variables such as GDP growth as well as falling CAD in the September 2013 quarter are expected to strengthen the rupee and improve the macroeconomic environment.
Majority of the Automobile stocks are trading in the red with TVS Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra being the major losers whereas Force Motors and Eicher Motors are trading in the green. As per a leading financial daily, VE Commercial Vehicle, a collaboration between Eicher Ltd and Swedish truck company Volvo Group have introduced a new range of Eicher 'Pro Series' trucks and buses. The series comprises of 11 different trucks and buses in the range of 5-49 tonne and have been developed at an initial investment of Rs 18 bn over the last five years. According to the company, the trucks and buses under the new range offer 5-10% better fuel efficiency, higher payload and quick break-even for fleet operators. The products will be launched in February 2014 and will be rolled out across the country in 18 months. VE Commercial Vehicle is hoping to more than double its market share in three years in the heavy duty truck segment. The Eicher branded trucks will be the fifth major brand for the Volvo group enabling it to cater to the emerging markets in South East Asia, Middle East and Africa. Eicher Motor stock is currently up by 3.5%.