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Despite the Reserve Bank of India hints at retaining its tight monetary policy stance, the indices in Indian stock markets managed to move into the positive territory and consolidate gains. Backed by buying interest in banking, IT and auto heavyweights, the indices featured amongst the top gainers in Asia in today's trade. While the BSE-Sensex closed higher by around 252 points (up 1.5%), the NSE-Nifty gained around 70 points (up 1.4%). The BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap indices, however, lost around 0.2% each.

As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today, while European indices have also opened on a cautious note. The rupee was trading at Rs 49.0 to the dollar at the time of writing.

In the first year of its launch, Ashok Leyland expects its joint venture with Japan's Nissan to sell 55,000 light commercial vehicles. The joint venture, which was for LCVs, buses and vans, has already commenced manufacturing LCVs. Recently the company successfully launched the Dost in Maharashtra market. The company was also planning to launch a passenger van on the platform of this same light commercial vehicle, which will have a seating capacity of up to eight persons. Dost, a 1.25 ton carrier, is built at Ashok Leyland's manufacturing facility in Hosur, and will compete with the likes of Tata Ace and Mahindra Genio and Maxximo.

Ashok Leyland's Q1 2012 performance was a muted due to poor performance in domestic markets. While domestic volumes declined by 14% YoY to reach 16,738 vehicles, exports recorded a healthy 31% YoY growth in volumes to reach 2,539 vehicles during the quarter. The drop in domestic volume was primarily in the south, which has been the company's stronghold for long. The stock of Ashok Leyland closed 3% lower today.

Meanwhile, food inflation jumped to 9.13% for the week ended September 17 from 8.9% in the previous week, mainly due to a rise in prices of potatoes, pulses and poultry. India's central bank has raised interest rates a dozen times in the past 18 months, but headline inflation remains at more than twice the bank's comfort level, confounding expectations that it was coming to the end of its tightening cycle.

Source: India Markets Thursday Wrap-Up: Sensex, Nifty Top Asian Gainers