Majority of the food & tobacco stocks are trading firm led by ITC and Sterling Biotech. As per a leading financial daily, the director of Tobacco Institute of India has said that the factory shipment data of major cigarette companies in the latter half of 2014 shows a double-digit decline as compared to pre-budget levels in June 2014. Higher taxes led to the drop in sales of legal cigarettes as per the industry body. It should be noted that the excise duty on cigarettes has been raised by the government for three consecutive years. Many states have also raised the VAT on cigarettes resulting in a cascading increase in taxation. To add to its woes, the government is also considering to impose additional punitive measures such as a ban on sale of loose cigarettes and raising the age limit for cigarette buyers.
All the automobile stocks are trading in the green led by Mahindra & Mahindra and Ashok Leyland. As per a leading financial daily, Tata Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) are set to extend their partnership on product development and marketing. It should be noted that the two ended their marketing tie-up two years ago. Reportedly the two companies are working on FCA's two-litre multijet diesel engine that will power two of the sports utility vehicles of Tata Motors. The engine is also likely to power FCA's new compact SUV under the 'Jeep' brand. The three vehicles are slated to be launched in 2017. Tata Motors stock is presently trading up by 2%.