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Realty powers up the markets
Fri, 31 Dec 09:30 am

Asian markets have opened the day on a good note. Taiwan (up 0.8%), China (up 0.6%) and Korea (up 0.4%) are leading the pack of gainers. However, Japan (down 1.1%) and Singapore (down 0.2%) are trading in the red. Following cues of the Asian markets, Indian markets have started the day on a positive note as well. Realty and power stocks are leading the pack of gainers.

The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 52 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 12 points (0.2%). Mid and small cap stocks are trading in the positive as well, with the BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices up by 0.4% each. The rupee is trading at 44.86 to the US dollar.

It is the last day of the year and food prices still continue to be a problem for the country. Last week's food inflation levels increased to 14.44% as compared to 12.13% for the week before. The rise was attributable to the higher vegetable prices, especially onions. However, it would be important to note that these inflation numbers are for the week ended on December 18th. The government had embarked on measures to control onion prices on December 22. Whether their measures were successful or not, the numbers would tell next week.

Auto stocks have opened the day in the green. Ashok Leland, Mahindra & Mahindra and Maruti Suzuki are the biggest gainers. However, Hero Honda is witnessing selling pressure. Nano's troubles seem to be coming to end. The past few months had been a period of declining growth in the sales for the world's cheapest car. In fact, last month Tata Motors had decided to embark on a marketing strategy to boost the sales for Nano. Well their efforts seem to be paying off. As per a leading daily, the company was able to sell nearly 5,000 units in the month of December. This is spectacular when compared to the paltry 500 odd units sold in November. Sales were buoyed by the new finance schemes and other incentives offered by the company on Nano. Most of the dealers have reported that they were able to clear their backlogs and inventories in December. If things continue this way then soon Nano would go back to being the shining star for Tata Motors. The stock of Tata Motors is currently trading in the green.

The bond market is all set to witness more sales with State Bank of India's bonds issue. The country's largest lender has stated that it plans to raise Rs 120 bn through bonds to fund its business growth. The funds would be raised in 2011 and 2012 in different tranches. Of the total amount, Rs 100 bn would be raised by way of issue of Tier –II bonds. The balance Rs 20 bn would be offered to retail investors. SBI had raised Rs 10 bn by way of a bond issue in October this year. The issue was oversubscribed by almost 17 times. However, it remains to be seen if the upcoming issues would be equally successful or not. Anyways, the bank's stock is currently trading in the positive zone along with peers Axis Bank and Yes Bank. However, PNB and HDFC Bank are trading in the negative.

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