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IT, pharma stocks lead gains today
Mon, 24 Dec 01:30 pm

The Indian markets continued to trade in a range bound manner during the post noon trading session. Stocks from the IT and healthcare spaces are amongst the top performers at the moment while those from the oil and gas and banking sectors spaces are amongst the top underperformers.

The Sensex today is trading higher by about 40 points (up 0.2%), while NSE-Nifty is trading higher by about 11 points (up 0.2%). Stocks from the midcap and small spaces are also trading firm with the BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap indices up by 0.4% each. The rupee is trading at 55.1 to the US dollar.

Stocks of auto companies are trading firm led by Escorts, Tata Motors and Bajaj Auto. As per a leading financial daily, in a bid to rejuvenate its domestic passenger car division Tata Motors will invest more than Rs 75 bn over the next five years. A lion's share of over 70% of the investment is earmarked for new product launches. As sliding sales and erosion in market share continue to plague Tata Motors in the domestic passenger car market, the company is gearing to enter the mini SUV segment and revamp its Nano launch. The company is expected to launch new products over the next 12-18 months onwards.

Stocks of public sector banks are trading firm led by Central Bank, Union Bank and Andhra Bank. A leading business daily has reported that PSU banks State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce have sought the finance ministry's intervention for power sector loans (to private sector companies) of the tune about Rs 2.3 trillion. It is believed that the ministry has assured the banks of help by taking the matters to other ministries such as coal, petroleum and environment. Given that defaults of such a large magnitude would have an impact on the country's growth figures, the government would be looking at removing the hurdles and addressing the concerned delays to ensure there are no large-scale defaults come due to power firms. Apart from the power generation companies not earning revenues on the invested amounts, what is adding to their woes are the delays in payments from the distribution companies. Not to mention lack of fuel supplies to run their plants.

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