All major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a strong note with stock markets in South Korea (up 2.5%), Indonesia (up 2.1%) and Taiwan (up 1.7%) leading the gains. The Indian stock markets have also opened the day on a firm note. Stocks in the metal and realty space are leading the gains.
The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by 224 points (1.4%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 67 points (1.4%). BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap stocks are trading in the green as well, with the BSE Mid cap and BSE Small cap indices up by 1% and 0.7% respectively. The rupee is trading at 53.16 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Ashok Leyland, Maruti Suzuki and Hero MotoCorp leading the gains. However, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M) is facing selling pressure. India's largest tractor maker, M&M has sold 15,135 units of tractor in the month of December 2011. M&M has been able to maintain its leadership position in this segment. If we include the exports in the domestic sales then M&M sold 16,389 units of tractors through its Farm Equipment Sector (FES) in December 2011 against tractor sales (domestic + exports) of 16,334 units in December 2010. For the third quarter of the current financial year, the cumulative sales stood at 183,274 units, an increase of 19% year-on-year (YoY). Speaking on the numbers, the Chief Executive of Automotive Division thanked the all round performance to Mahindra's brand and customer loyalty. On an overall automotive division basis, there was a growth of 26% YoY for the month of December.
PSU bank stocks have opened the day on a firm note with UCO Bank, Dena BankVijaya Bank and IDBI Bankleading with significant gains. On account of the slowdown that the Indian economy is currently facing, Union Bank of India (UBI) has lowered its credit growth target by 1% for the financial year 2012-13 (FY13). While earlier it had estimated a credit growth of 16%, the same has now been lowered to about 15%. The credit growth projection of the Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) is 19% for FY13. UBI recently reduced the base rate by 10 basis points. The bank also expects deposit rates to decline. The state-run bank is looking at capital infusion of Rs 2.5-2.8 bn from the government during the last quarter of the financial year.