Shares of paints companies, plastics companies and steel companies advanced 8% each, while shares of real estate companies and refinery companies ended flat. Stocks of software & IT services companies declined 2% and stocks of pharmaceutical companies fell 1%
Combined food inflation stood at 8.63% for February 2014, down from 9.87% for January 2014. For rural and urban areas, food inflation was 9.25% and 7.16%, respectively, in February 2014. Inflation in vegetable prices declined to 14.04% in February compared to 21.75% in January. Inflation in fruit prices remained steady, around 15.50% in February, while pulses were dearer by 3.48% y-o-y. Inflation for cereals stood at 9.93% and inflation for milk products was 10.37%. The price rise of non-vegetarian items, such as eggs, meat and fish, was 9.69% in February compared to 11.62% in January 2014.
Copper prices have been under pressure and fallen steadily in 2014 because of lower demand from China following an economic slowdown. Other factors, such as the Ukrainian crisis and mixed US economic data, have also influenced prices. Copper demand and prices have been a strong predictor of economic growth in the past and it remains to be seen whether this time, too, weak copper prices indicate a weaker global economy. Copper price, on the MCX, declined by 16%, to Rs397.10/kg on 26 March 2014, from Rs473.60/kg at the beginning of the year.