India Markets Wednesday Wrap-Up: Autos, Banks Drag Indices Down

Includes: EPI, IFN, IIF
by: Equitymaster

A bout of profit booking during the closing stages tipped the markets into negative territory and ensured they end the day marginally in the red. While BSE Sensex edged lower by around 30 points (down 0.2%), Nifty lost around 10 points (0.2%). BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices also toed the line of their larger counterparts and ended the day marginally in the red. Nearly two stocks declined or stayed flat for every stock that gained on the Sensex today. Auto and banking heavyweights in particular proved to be a drag today.

Among other regional indices, while those in Asia mostly ended the day in the red, their European counterparts are also trading weak currently. The rupee was trading at Rs 46.3 to the dollar at the time of this writing.

This is the third day in succession that the markets have not shown any definitive trend. With one of the most important events in the annual economic calendar around the corner, no one is willing to take a chance. There isn't much happening internationally as well. The Greece deadlock remains. A big question mark continues to loom over China's immediate future and contrasting news keep coming out of the US. Thus, truly market shattering events like the ones that happened in 2008 and 2009 seemed to be absent so far in 2010. What would be consistent with this observation would be the fact that the current calendar year is likely to turn out to be a year of sideways movement absent some major blow ups. India's chance to break away from this trend largely hinges upon whether the Finance Minister manages to pull out a few rabbits from the hat. Any strong evidence has been missing so far. But you never know. Some positive surprises can just spring up from somewhere. It's over to the honorable Mr. FM now.

REC, one of the leading public financial institutions in the country flared up 5% on the bourses today. The buying interest seemed an outcome of the favorable response that the company's FPO has generated especially from large institutions. As per latest reports, the offer was oversubscribed over three times with the heartening aspect being the lack of any support from LIC and SBI. Mostly FIIs and a clutch of domestic mutual funds helped the issue to sail through without any major hiccups. The retail portion however, remained undersubscribed, with only 23% of the portion reserved for retail receiving bids. The company is looking to raise nearly Rs 35 bn through the offer with the sole objective of augmenting its capital base so that the company's capital requirements are met.

Maruti Suzuki, which was amongst the top losers yesterday, managed to do a complete U-turn today as it emerged one of the top gainers among Sensex stocks. Clarification by the company's management that the car recall issue is likely to have a negligible financial impact on the company seemed to have boosted investor sentiment towards the counter. It should be noted that the company has decided to recall around 1 lakh cars sporting the A-Star logo as it fears that they might have been fitted with a faulty fuel pump gasket. However, with the cost of the gasket being very small vis-à-vis the company's size and also the fact that any monetary liability will be shared equally between the company and the vendor who supplied the gasket; there is hardly any threat to the company's profitability on account of this event.