The Indian markets continued to languish in the red during the previous two hours of trade. Currently, selling activity is being witnessed among stocks from IT, metal and realty sectors. However, FMCG, consumer durable and oil & gas stocks are the ones managing to garner investors’ interest.
The BSE-Sensex and the NSE-Nifty are currently trading lower by around 150 points and 45 points respectively. Stocks from the midcap and small cap spaces are currently trading mixed, with the BSE-Midcap and the BSE-Smallcap indices trading down by 0.3% and up by 0.1% respectively. The rupee is trading at 46.10 to the US dollar.
As per a leading business daily, auto major Maruti, with a view to grow out of its reliance on its foreign parent’s (Suzuki) R&D capabilities, will turn its upcoming R&D facility at Rohtak into a self-reliant setup by 2012. It may be noted that this will also coincide with the introduction of its first India made small car. The company’s target is to make its R&D capability independent and self sufficient by 2012. Maruti management would like to have the development of small cars particularly for India to be done more and more in India itself. The company sees an expenditure of up to Rs 15 bn at its R&D centre over the next 3 to 4 years. The company plans to hire around 1,000 engineers this year and has set up a separate HR cell for the R&D centre, which further shows the company’s seriousness of intent. The stock of Maruti is trading marginally lower currently.
As per data released today, India's food price index rose 17.56% in the 12 months to January 23, while the fuel price index was up 5.88%. This rise in the food price index was higher than an annual rise of 17.4% in the previous week. Further, India's annual wholesale inflation (WPI) picked up to 7.31% in December 2009. This is in contrast to a much lower 4.78% in November 2009.
Industry chamber Assocham expects WPI inflation to surge to double digits by the end of FY10. It may be noted that this is much higher than RBI's projections of 8.5%. The main culprits for this are the rising prices of commodities like steel, cement and coal due to the shortage of supply.