After starting the day on a firm note, the Indian markets drifted into the red in the morning trading session and then traded in a range bound manner since. The BSE-Sensex closed lower by about 50 points or 0.2%, while the NSE-Nifty ended lower by about 23 points or 0.4%. BSE Mid Cap ended the day with marginal losses. Smallcap stocks were however in favour today as the BSE Small Cap Index closed higher by about 0.2%.
Stock markets in other parts of Asia ended the day on a firm note with Hong Kong and Japan up by about 0.01% and 0.7% respectively. The rupee was trading at Rs 62 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Stocks of auto ancillary companies ended the day on a mixed note with Rico Auto, Bosch and Amara Raja leading the losses while FAG Bearings and NRB Bearings led the gains. As per a leading business daily, auto component supplier Bosch is shutting its plant at Jaipur for a period of two days. As per reports, the reason for doing so is the current slowdown in auto sales volumes. The company has stated that this move is being done to align the production with the demand for products and avoid any build-up of inventory. The company's plant at Jaipur manufactures injection pumps which are used in diesel engines. Given the long slowdown in auto volumes such a move by an industry leader does give an indication of how grim the real picture is. As per the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), domestic passenger car sales volumes came in lower by about 8% YoY in November this year. Sales of commercial vehicles were down by 29% YoY to as compared to last year. It may however be noted that Bosch's stock has been on a tear in the past few days on news of its parent company looking to hike stake in the Indian company. The same news led the company's stock to touch its all time high price of Rs 11,500 (intraday) a few days ago.
Stocks of automobile companies ended the day on a weak note with Bajaj Auto, Mahindra and Mahindra and Hero Motocorp leading the pack of losers. It is reported that Tata Motors is working on making changes to its Nano brand by launching the improved variants which are aimed at taking away the tag of the car being the world's cheapest vehicle. As per the company spokesperson, the company is working on making the transformation, and is working to ensure all fundamentals are in place. This includes trying to make the vehicle an aspirational one. In FY14, the company averaged about 1,111 units a month. It is aiming to reach 10,000 units a month within the next year to year and a half. Also the new variants of the vehicles will be priced in the range of Rs 1.75 lakhs to Rs 3.25 lakhs. These variants also will include CNG and diesel models, in addition to the petrol models. Given these price points, it would be in competition with some of the largest selling vehicles in the country.