India Markets Monday Wrap-Up: Cautious Undertone

by: Equitymaster

The Indian stock market had a negative start to the week and the month of October. This was on account of lingering concerns about the prospects of the Eurozone. The indices opened on a negative note, and selling pressure on index heavyweights kept them below the dotted line. While the BSE-Sensex closed lower by around 302 points (down 1.8%), the NSE-Nifty closed lower by around 94 points (down 1.9%). The BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap were not spared either as they closed lower by 1.9% and 1.5% respectively. Losses were largely seen in realty and metals space. All indices closed lower for the day.

As regards global markets, Asian indices were deep in the red today while European indices echoed similar sentiment. The rupee was trading at Rs 49.24 to the dollar at the time of writing.

Growth momentum in the country saw a further pullback. India's manufacturing growth almost stalled in September 2011. This was its weakest showing since March 2009 on account of slowing output and order growth. Continued rate hikes and a weak global market continued to take a toll on India's growth. The HSBC Market India Manufacturing PMI fell more than 2 points to 50.4 from 52.6. This is dangerously close to the 50 mark dividing growth and contraction.

Even in its new avatar without its former Japanse partner, India's largest two-wheeler manufacturer continues to shine. Hero MotoCorp recently reported its highest ever monthly sales of 5,49,625 units in September. It clocked in a robust growth of 26.75%, selling 4,33,641 units in September 2010. For the second quarter of the financial year 2011-12, the company's sales increased 20.09% to 1.5 m units. Thus the company has continued on its growth trajectory this year. With the festive season already underway, the company expects its strong momentum to continue.

According to a leading business daily, Hero MotoCorp is working on a 250cc motorcycle to be launched by the second half of the financial year. This will be the most expensive product so far from the company's stable. The stock was one of the few gainers in an overall weak market, closing 0.9% higher.

Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar (owned by DB Corp) announced that it picked up a 2.7% stake in IT training services provider Edserv Softsystems for Rs 150 m. It is investing the money through the issue of fully convertible equity warrants. These will convert over a period of 18 months. This helps Edserv to strengthen its brand positioning and campaigning across India. Both stocks closed lower for the day, in an overall weak market.