Rupee hits near 3-month low; retreats as euro pares losses

MUMBAI: The rupee ended off a near three-month low on Wednesday as the euro pared losses against the dollar, but traders expect the local unit to weaken further on Thursday due to high demand for the greenback from importers and a volatile euro.

The partially convertible rupee closed at 45.3475/3550 per dollar, after falling to 45.4275, its lowest since Feb 25, when it had touched 45.43. On Tuesday it had closed at 45.21/22.

"The rupee is looking to weaken further. Importers are panicking and lack of supply from exporters or from foreign funds will keep it weak," said Vikas Chittiprolu, a senior forex dealer with Andhra Bank.

He sees the rupee in a range of 45.20-45.50 per dollar on Thursday.

Domestic oil refiners are the biggest purchasers of dollars in the local forex market, with oil being India's biggest import item.

The euro fell on Wednesday, as investors including hedge funds cut bullish bets on mounting worries over Greece's finances, but pared losses later in the day after Finland's parliament approved Portugal's bailout package. Traders said mounting worries over Greece's finances would check gains and keep the currency volatile.

The euro was at $1.4071 when the local markets closed, after falling to $1.4013 earlier in the day.

The index of the dollar against six major currencies was up 0.14 percent at 75.986. On Tuesday, when the local market closed the euro had been at $1.4078 and the dollar index at 75.999 points.

Negative local shares also weighed on the rupee, dealers said.

Indian shares ended 0.9 percent lower on lacklustre volumes, tracking weaker global markets as fears over Europe's widening debt crisis weighed on sentiments.

Foreign funds have sold Indian shares worth $1.7 billion so far in May pressured by a sharper-than-expected 50 basis point rate hike by India's central bank early in the month.

The one-month onshore forward premium was at 21.50 points versus 21.25 last close. The three-month was at 69.75 points against its previous 65.00 and the one-year

was at 256.75 points against 248.25. The one-month offshore non-deliverable forward contracts were quoted at 45.53, weaker than the onshore spot rate. In the currency futures market , the most traded near-month dollar-rupee contracts on the National Stock Exchange, the MCX-SX and the United Stock Exchange were at 45.3475, 45.3600 and 45.3500 respectively, with the total volume at $10.56 billion.
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Diesel, LPG prices may be hiked on June 9

NEW DELHI: The ministerial panel on fuels under FM Pranab Mukherjee is expected to raise diesel and cooking gas prices on June 9. Diesel price is likely to be increased by Rs 2-3 a litre and cooking gas by about Rs 35 per cylinder. The increase in price of diesel, which is the main transportation fuel, is expected to push up cost of essential items, all goods that move on trucks as well as bus and taxi fares.

A revision in diesel and cooking gas prices was in the offing since petrol price was jacked up on May 15 by Rs 5 a litre, the steepest-ever increase. The ministerial panel was expected to meet on May 11, the day after the last phase of polling was to get over in Bengal. But the government pushed the pause button in view of a see-saw in global crude prices after Osama bin-Laden's killing.

The fluctuation in crude price in the intervening period has brought down the loss on a litre of diesel from a high of Rs 19 or so, when the price of Indian crude mix averaged nearly $121 a barrel before Osama was killed. Diesel and cooking gas prices were last revised in June 2010. The present pump price of diesel corresponds to around $70 a barrel of crude mix bought by the state-run refiners. That mix is ruling at $118 now. As a result, oil marketers are currently losing Rs 16.49 on every litre of diesel and Rs 329 on each cooking gas refill.

The oil ministry will also push for an increase in the price of kerosene, politically the holy cow of fuels. The companies are losing almost Rs 30 a litre on the poor man's fuel, nearly 40% of which flows into the black market. The panel is unlikely to tinker with fuel taxes for fear of upsetting the government's calculations. Top finance ministry officials have, over the week, categorically ruled on reducing taxes to pare increase in fuel prices.
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Chinese firm to invest $380m in truck plant in Maharashtra

BEIJING: In a rare case of a Chinese company investing directly in India instead of relying on exports, a leading truck manufacturer has inked an investment deal with the Maharashtra government.

Beiqi Foton Motor, one of China's leading manufacturers of commercial vehicles, plans to put in $380 million on a assembling plant in Maharashtra, State media said.

The company has also promised to mostly source parts and components from local producers instead of importing them from China, the State media indicated. The company termed it as an important move in its globalization drive.

A report from Mumbai suggested the proposed plant will produce 100,000 trucks a year.

The plant will have the full range of production capabilities to churn out both heavy and light trucks to meet different kinds of demand in the Indian market, the official Xinhua news agency quoted the company's public relations chief, Wang Shuguang, as saying.

The location of the plant has not been finalized and could be in Mumbai or Pune with several options available, Wang said. The Beijing based Beiqi Foton Motor will also establish a separate company to handle sales.

The company sold over 600,000 vehicles in 2009, which was highest by any company in the world, Xinhua said. It also has vehicle assembling plants in Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico and South Africa.

Beiqi Foton Motor made a net profit of $168.7 million in the first half of this year, rising at a stunning rate of 153% over the level achieved in the same period last year.
PGDM 2ND (2010-12)

Gold climbs to new high of Rs 23,175/10 gram, silver slips

NEW DELHI: Gold prices surged to a new peak and crossed the Rs 23,000 mark in the national capital on Saturday on sustained buying by speculators, triggered by a strong rally in overseas markets. Silver, however, dropped due to reduced offtake.

The yellow gold spurted by Rs 655 to all-time high of Rs 23,175 per 10 grams as the metal in international markets climbed to a record high of USD 1,570.60 an ounce in day-to-day trading.

Hectic buying by stockists and retail customers ahead of 'Akshya Tritya' festival, a traditional day for buying gold further bolstered the market sentiment.

Silver, however, lacked necessary follow-up support on reduced offtake at existing higher levels and shed Rs 500 to Rs 71,500 per kg.

Market analysts said the recent surge in gold prices in the domestic markets, driven by a firming global trend on bets that the dollar will extend a slump, boosted the demand of the metal as a store of value.

They added that the upsurge was speculative in nature and scattered small buying for the coming festival and marriage season supported the market trend.

On the domestic front, gold of 99.9 and 99.5 per cent purity rose by Rs 655 each to a record high of Rs 23,175 and Rs 23,055 per 10 grams, respectively.

Sovereign followed suit and rose by Rs 100 to a fresh high of Rs 18,500 per piece of eight gram.

On the other hand, the white metal attracted profit-taking by dealers at existing higher levels and recorded a moderate loss of Rs 500 to Rs 71,500 per kg, while weekly-based delivery fell by Rs 570 to Rs 70,600 per kg.

Similarly, silver coins lost Rs 500 to Rs 77,000 for buying and Rs 78,000 for selling of 100 pieces
PGDM 2ND SEM (2010-12)

Tata Nano drives passenger vehicle sales for Tata Motors

NEW DELHI: Auto major Tata Motors on Sunday reported a 13 per cent jump in total sales in April to 64,383 units from 57,199 units in the same month last year, riding on good numbers from small car Nano , which crossed the 10,000-mark for the first time.

In April, the homegrown firm registered a 1.24 per cent increase in passenger vehicle sales in the domestic market to 23,387 units from 23,099 units in the same period last year, the company said in a statement.

During the month, small car Nano's sales soared by 184 per cent to 10,012 units during April, it said.

The 'Indica' range reported sales of 4,250 units, down 53 per cent. The 'Indigo' family, with sales of 5,282 units, witnessed a dip of 27 per cent vis-a-vis the same month last year. The 'Sumo', 'Safari' and 'Aria' models accounted for sales of 3,843 units, up 15 per cent compared to April last year.

In the commercial vehicles segment, Tata Motors recorded a 19 per cent jump in domestic sales in April to 36,738 units.

Light commercial vehicles sales during the month stood at 22,802 units, up 28 per cent, while medium and heavy commercial vehicle sales stood at 13,936 units, a jump of 6 per cent compared to April, 2010.

Tata Motors' total exports in April jumped by 36 per cent to 4,258 units from 3,137 units in the same month last year.
PGDM 2ND (2010-12)

Finance news

Markets await monetary policy on May 3Mumbai: 

Traders at Indian equities markets will be eying the central bank very closely as it comes out with its annual monetary policy on May 3.

The view largely among analysts is that the Reserve Bank of India will go in for another round of tightening given the high inflation. It has already hiked key interest rates eight times in the past 15 months. 

Latest data showed that food inflation rose for the second consecutive week to 8.76 percent for the week ended April 16.

The annual rate of inflation too had shown an increase, rising to 8.98 percent in March from 8.31 percent the month before, way above the target of 8 percent set by the central bank.

Fearing a hike, the benchmark indices at the stock markets closed in the red. Interest rate sensitive stocks like banking too fell.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) closed the week 466.27 points or 2.38 percent lower at 19,602.232 points.

‘RBI policy could have an impact on Indian equities in case of a 50 basis points repo rate hike. Fundamentals as in a strong deposit growth and first half of fiscal being a lean credit growth pressure may not warrant a steep hike,’ said Rajesh Iyer, head products and research, Kotak Wealth Management.

‘But having said that the latest inflation number that came out on April 25 was higher than RBI estimates. RBI may still be ok to go ahead with the same as between inflation and growth the latter is yet to see any slowdown. Inflation surely remains sticky,’ added Iyer.

RBI Governor D. Subbarao, will also have an eye on the industrial output, with India Inc. repeatedly saying that higher interest rates was beginning to hurt.

In his outlook on the economy, new Confederation of Indian Industry president B. Muthuraman said that the gross domestic product in the current fiscal could moderate in view of rising inflation and interest rates.

India’s industrial output grew by a lower than expected 3.6 percent in February, bogged down by slow production in the manufacturing sector, particularly capital goods.



Maruti Suzuki sales up 4% in April

New Delhi: India's largest car-maker Maruti Suzuki India today reported a 4.40 per cent jump in April sales to 97,155 units.
Sales for the same month last year stood at 93,058 units, Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) said in a statement.
The national capital-based company recorded sales of 87,144 units in the domestic market last month, an 8.88 per cent increase from 80,034 units in April, 2010.
MSI's exports, however, declined by 23.13 per cent in April to 10,011 units from 13,024 units in the year-ago period, the company added.
Sales of the company's once bread-and-butter model M800, went up 11.96 per cent to 2,528 units during the reporting period from 2,258 units in April, 2010, the statement said.
Sales in the A2 segment (comprising Alto, WagonR, Estilo, Swift, A-Star and Ritz) witnessed 1.82 per cent growth to 57,443 units from 56,416 units in the same month a year ago.
A3 segment sales (comprising the SX4 and DZiRE...

Rupee drops to 44.37 against dollar

Mumbai: The Indian rupee dropped by 15 paise to 44.37 against the US dollar in early trade on Monday on renewed demand for the American currency from banks and corporates on the back of dollar firmness overseas.
The dollar rebounded in the Sydney market from three-year lows and US crude oil slid more than 1 per cent in early trade on the back of news that a US-led operation killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.
Oil eased in Asian trade today ahead of the release of key US economic data, analysts said. New York's main contract, light sweet crude for June delivery, was down 68 cents to USD 113.25 from New York's close.
At the Interbank Foreign Exchange, the domestic currency opened lower at 44.28/29 per dollar as against last weekend's level of 44.22/23 and moved down further to 44.37 per dollar before quoting at 44.32/33 per dollar at 1030 hours.

Sterlite Tech shares down 8 pct

Mumbai: Shares of Sterlite Technologies were down more than 8 per cent in early trades after the company said its January-March net profit fell 86 per cent.
At 9.16 a.m., shares of the company were down 7.17 per cent at Rs 57.


Global stocks rise after news of Bin Laden death; oil slides

SYDNEY: The dollar rebounded from three-year lows and US crude slid more than 1 per cent on Monday on the back of news that a US-led operation killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan .

US stock index futures added to gains, while US Treasury yields rose across the curve after US officials said the body of Al Queda's elusive leader has been recovered by US authorities.

"By lowering national security risks overall, this is likely to bolster equity markets and lower US Treasury prices in a reverse flight to quality movement," said Mohamed El-Erian, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chief Investment Officer at PIMCO, which oversees $1.2 trillion assets.

"Oil markets are likely to be the most volatile given their higher sensitivity to the tug of war between lower risk overall and the possibility of isolated disturbances in some parts of the Middle East and central Asia," he said.

US crude fell 1.3 per cent to $112.39, while US stock index futures rose 0.9 per cent.

US Treasuries fell, pushing yields higher across the curve. The 10-year yield climbed 2.4 basis points to 3.314 per cent.

Earlier, a 10 per cent slide in silver highlighted worries that other overbought assets may be vulnerable to sudden sell-offs.

Financial markets in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand were all shut on Monday for public holidays, a factor seen contributing to thin trading conditions that could exaggerate price action.

Japan's Nikkei average rose 1.0 per cent, South Korea's KOSPI put on 0.9 per cent, but Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index slipped 0.5 per cent.

MSCI's gauge of Asian stocks excluding Japan struggled to make further gains, having reached a three-year peak last week. It was up 0.08 per cent at 506.62.

Silver skidded about 10 per cent to a low of $42.58, well off a record high of $49.51 set on Thursday. Gold fell to $1,546 from an all-time high of $1,575.79.

"If adjustment is confined to just silver, it won't be a big deal," said Koji Fukaya, chief strategist at Credit Suisse in Tokyo.

"But if this moves spills over to other commodities, that could certainly hurt commodity currencies, such as the Australian dollar and the Canadian dollar. And we could see a rebound in the US dollar."


The US dollar fell to a fresh three-year low against a bakset of major currencies as investors sought higher-yielding assets with the US central bank in no hurry to tighten its ultra-loose monetary policy.

This has helped the high-flying Australian dollar extend gains to a fresh 29-year high above $1.1000. The euro held near a 16-month high around $1.4881 set last week.

With both the Federal Reserve and Bank of Japan maintaining ultra-loose monetary policies, investors have been seeking higher yielding assets in many fast-growing emerging markets in Asia.

This has prompted many Asian authorities to tighten policy as inflationary pressure grows. Data on Sunday showed China's policy actions to rein in prices appeared to be taking effect, with manufacturing growth slowing in April.
PGDM 2ND (2010-12)

Bajaj Hind shares up nearly 4 pct

Mumbai: Sugar major Bajaj Hindusthan rose by nearly 4 per cent in morning trade on the bourses on Monday, boosted by an over two-fold jump in net profit for the quarter ended March.
Cheering the growth, shares of the country's largest sugar firm went up by 3.87 per cent to touch an early high of Rs 77.80 on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
Similarly, the stock touched an early peak of Rs 77.85, a jump of 3.8 per cent, on the National Stock Exchange.
On the volume front, over 12 lakh shares of the company were traded on the two bourses in the morning session.
The company late last week reported an over two-fold jump in net profit to Rs 72.82 crore for the quarter ended March from Rs 31.79 crore in the year-ago period.
pgdm 2ndsem

Finance news

Mumbai: Indian equities markets continued to languish in dull trade around Friday noon, with capital goods and consumer durables stocks leading the losers pack.

The 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 19,292.57 points, was ruling at 19,306.53 points, up 14.51 points or 0.08 percent from its previous close at 19,292.02 points. The 50-scrip S and P CNX Nifty of the National Stock Exchange was also trading lacklustre at 5,790.95 points, up 0.1 percent.

Broader markets were ruling quiet as well with the BSE midcap index up 0.07 percent and the BSE small cap index down 0.34 percent.

The market breadth was negative with 1,167 stocks advancing, 1,340 on the decline and 88 remaining unchanged.

There was not much action on the Asian markets with some major bourses closed.

The Shanghai composite index of the Chinese stock exchanges was trading 0.32 percent up at 2,896.18 points.

The Hang Seng of the Hong Kong stock exchange slipped 0.41 percent and was ruling at 23,707.38 points.

The Japanese markets were closed on account of a holiday.


SBI Life to invest Rs 9,600 cr in share market in FY'12

NEW DELHI: Country's leading life insurer SBI Life will invest up to Rs 9,600 crore in Indian equity market this fiscal, taking its capital market exposure to over Rs 34,000 crore, a senior company official said today.

"We will make incremental investment of about Rs 16,000 crore in securities in 2011-12, of which 60 per cent would go to the stock market," SBI Life Insurance managing director M N Rao told PTI.

The life insurer has an investment of about Rs 25,000 crore in equities.

"This incremental investment will take the total exposure in capital markets to over Rs 34,000 crore," he added.

The company, which managed assets worth Rs 40,163 crore at the end of March 31, expects over 40 per cent growth in its assets under management (AUM) during the current fiscal.

"We expect to take our AUM to about Rs 60,000 crore. For this, we will make investments in market instruments," Rao said.

SBI Life Insurance is a joint venture between State Bank of India and France-based BNP Paribas Assurance. SBI owns 74 per cent of the total capital in the JV and the rest is held by BNP Paribas Assurance.

For the financial year ended March 2011, the life insurer reported a 33 per cent growth in net profit at Rs 366 crore. Its total premium income grew by 28 per cent to Rs 12,912 crore during the period.

During the fiscal, the new business premium collection stood at Rs 7,572 crore, which is a rise of 7 per cent over the previous financial year.

The company is planning new products in the unit-linked as well in traditional segment for which it has applied to the insurance regulator IRDA.

On company's plans to raise funds from the capital market, Rao said SBI Life is a well capitalised company and does not need funds as of now.

"We will wait for clarity on Insurance Bill and IPO guidelines. The initial public offer (IPO) is unlikely to happen in the next 2-3 quarters," he said.

The paid up capital of SBI Life Insurance stands at Rs 1,000 crore.

The Bill, pending with a Parliamentary Standing Committee, has proposed to increase the foreign share holding limit in an Indian insurance firm to 49 per cent from the present 26 per cent. PTI JD NKD MVS RAH 05011008 NNNN

RBI policy meet, Q4 results to decided market mood this week

NEW DELHI: The stock market may undergo a phase of consolidation this week in light of the RBI's policy meet on Tuesday and the announcement of the quarterly results of various companies, including Hero Honda Motors and Bharti airtel.

According to experts, there is a lack of a catalyst to lift the equity market out of its current range. Investors must not get adventurous for the time being and wait for more clarity on the direction of the main indices, they said.

"Overall, the sideways consolidation pattern could persist in May also, as quite a few key companies are yet to announce their results," IIFL Head of Research (India Private Clients) Amar Ambani said.

The Bombay Stock Exchange's 30-share Sensex index fell by 466.27 points to settle at 19,135.96 in the week gone by on FII selling, mixed corporate earnings, high inflation, hardening interest rates and concerns over the 2G scam.

"The RBI credit policy and quarterly results are the major factors to determine the market trend this week. Most of the global markets are at two-year highs after the US Fed kept interest rates unchanged at 0.25 per cent and announced a USD 600 billion treasury buy-back," Motilal Oswal Securities Associate VP Senior Analyst Technical Equities Parag Doctor said.

He said, however, that continued FII selling, fear of a hike in interest rates by the RBI and concerns over the 2G scam have created a negative sentiment in the market.

Analysts also said that investors must remain cautious as there are no major short-term triggers for the market to rise materially.

Market players also said that on May 3, the RBI is expected to raise key short-term rates again, as inflation still remains high. If the rate increase is 50 basis points, the market may look a little negative, they feared.

Bank of India will announce its Q4 results on May 2. Hero Honda Motors Q4 results will come up on May 4, followed by Bharti Airtel, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Cipla, whose results will be announced on May 5.
PGDM 2nd sem (2010-12)