Auto stocks fall on fears of hike in excise duty

Auto stocks fall on fears of hike in excise duty

Mumbai: Auto stocks, led by two-wheeler major Hero Honda Motors, on Tuesday dropped by nearly 3% in the early trade on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) amid fears of hike in excise duty on automobiles in the forthcoming Budget 2011-12.

Extending its two-day losing streak, Hero Honda Motors, the top loser among the BSE 30-Sensex stocks, slipped by 2.79% touching a 52-week low level of Rs1,399.10 on the BSE.

Union Budget is scheduled to be presented on 28 February.

“Investors are fearing that the government may rollback fiscal stimulus by rising the excise duty on automobiles in Union Budget 2011-12, which in-turn has dampened their sentiments," Karvy Stock Broking VP Ambareesh Baliga said.

The decline in the BSE benchmark index Sensex was led by the frontline auto stocks. Mahindra & Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors were other big laggards from the auto pack.

Shares of Mahindra & Mahindra fell by 2.91% hitting an early low of Rs632.25.

Similarly, the country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki, too went down by 2.92% to touch a low of Rs1,177.20.

Other dampeners from the auto sector were Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland, while the former shed by 2.03% the latter was trading lower by 0.89%.

Hit by the losses in stocks of the major auto companies, the BSE Auto index was trading down by 1.79% at 8,460.41.

Meanwhile, the BSE Sensex too was trading under pressure with a loss of 115.31 points at 18,323 at 10:25 am.