As per a leading daily, India's current account deficit (CAD) widened to a five-quarter high of 2.1% of GDP for the quarter ended September 2014. The CAD in the preceding quarter was at 1.7% of the GDP. Slowdown in merchandise exports and higher gold imports led to a sharp rise in CAD for the quarter. Merchandise exports slowed down to 4.9% in September 2014 quarter from 11.9% in the corresponding quarter last year. However, higher gold imports pushed up merchandise imports that grew by 8.1% in September 2014 quarter vis-a-vis 4.8% fall in year-ago quarter. Last month, the government removed the 20:80 restrictions on gold imports that required traders to mandatorily export 20% of the imported yellow metal. The Reserve Bank of India has said that it is comfortable with the current account deficit scenario on account of lower crude prices. Brent crude prices dropped below $ 68 a barrel which is a five-year low after Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided against cutting output.
Most of the automobile stocks are trading in the red with Eicher Motor and Ashok Leyland being the biggest losers whereas Maharashtra Scooters and Tube Investments are among the few stocks trading in the green. As per data released by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), domestic passenger car sales grew by 9.5% to 1.56 lakh units for the month of November. Two wheeler sales increased by 4.9% to 13 lakh units, but motorcycle sales were down by 3.1% to 8.53 lakh units for the month. The overall vehicle sales were up by 5% to 16 lakh units in November.