India Markets Thursday Wrap-Up: Food Inflation Drags Indian Markets Lower

by: Equitymaster

Reports of food inflation touching 9% and fuel price index rising 12.5% in May dampened investor sentiments as the Indian indices remained volatile throughout the session today. Weak global cues added to the selling pressure in commodity, banking and energy heavyweights and the indices in Indian stock market closed marginally below the dotted line. While BSE-Sensex edged lower by around 10 points, losses on the NSE-Nifty came in at around 6 points. While the BSE Midcap index also ended with losses, the BSE Small cap index maintained a status quo and stayed closed to the dotted line. Save for FMCG stocks, stocks in most other sectors closed flat to negative.

Major indices across Asia, except Japan, closed in the negative today whereas Europe has opened on a positive note. The rupee was trading at Rs 44.74 to the dollar at the time of writing.

Auto major Tata Motors (NYSE:TTM) is planning to raise up to US$ 500m overseas through external commercial borrowings over the next two months. It may be recalled that the company recently announced its plan to launch new variants of its small car Nano during FY12. The company is prepared to launch a diesel variant of Nano and is likely to be rolled out by the end of this year.

Tata Motors' consolidated revenues increased by 33% YoY during year. The revenue growth was led by the standalone business (up 30% YoY) as well as the Jaguar Land Rover business (up 42% YoY). The company's standalone business was driven by the commercial vehicle segment, whose volumes increased by 23% YoY and formed about 55% of the total volumes. Total standalone sales volumes stood at over 836,000 units, while total global volumes stood at over 1,080,000 units for the year.

As per a business daily, construction and engineering major Larsen and Toubro (L&T) plans to return to West Bengal for large-scale infrastructure projects after 34 years. The company is looking for infrastructure projects valued above Rs 30 to 40 bn in the state, similar to its projects in Delhi and Mumbai airport. Under the erstwhile government, the company has done smaller projects ranging between Rs 2 to 5 bn.

L&T grew its standalone sales by around 13.3% YoY during 4QFY11. This was on the back of a 12.9% YoY growth in the company's Engineering & Construction (E&C) division (87% of total sales during the quarter) as well as a 27% YoY growth in the Machinery and Industrial products division. Execution uptick in power, infrastructure, hydrocarbons and long gestation boiler, turbine & generator projects contributed to the overall top-line growth. Order backlog at the end of March 2011 stood at Rs 1.3 trillion.