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Energy weighs down Indian stock markets 
(Mon, 16 Apr 09:30 am) 
Asian stock markets have opened the week on a weak note. Barring Singapore (up 1.01%), nearly all of the major markets have opened the day in the red. Japan (down 1.5%), Taiwan (down 0.7%) and Hong Kong (down 0.7%) are leading the losses in the region. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note as well. Stocks in the energy and technology sectors are the major losers.

The BSE-Sensex is down by around 75 points (0.4%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 15 points (0.3%). However, mid and small cap stocks are trading in the positive territory, with the BSE Mid cap and BSE Small cap indices up by around 0.2% and 0.3% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 51.66 to the US dollar.

Steel stocks have opened the day on a negative note with Tata Sponge & Iron Ltd., Jindal Saw and Bhushan Steel leading the pack of losers. Tata Steel has stated that it plans to invest nearly US$ 1.3 bn in its facilities at Wales, United Kingdom. It plans to invest this amount over the next five years. The company has several manufacturing facilities in Wales. The investment would be used to improve production, product mix, quality as well as the product range at these manufacturing facilities. In December last year the company had stated that it plans to mothball one of its processing mills in Wales. This was on account of weak demand and a poor economic outlook.

Auto stocks have opened the day in the red as well with stocks of Tata Motos, Ashok Leyland and Mahindra & Mahindra leading the losses. The country's largest passenger car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki has stated that it plans to invest Rs 20 bn in its plant at Gurgaon. The investment would be towards the diesel engine manufacturing facility. The facility ramp up would be to meet the increasing demand for the company's Swift and Desire models. The company plans to manufacture 150,000 diesel engines for the two models in the current fiscal year. Maruti has declared earlier that it plans to ramp down its car manufacturing facilities at Gurgaon and ramp up the diesel engine manufacturing at the space instead. The company has seen demand steadily increasing in recent times. Last year (FY12), the car production stood at 26.2 lakh units as compared to the 25.2 lakh units manufactured in FY11.
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