Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note with stock markets in Singapore (up 0.5%), Hong Kong (up 0.4%), South Korea (up 0.3%) and China (up 0.3%) leading the gains. However, Japan (down 0.6%) is facing selling pressure. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note. Stocks in the auto and consumer durables space are leading the gains.
The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by 45 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 8 points (0.2%). Mid cap and small cap stocks are trading in the green as well, with the BSE Mid cap and BSE Small cap indices up by 0.3% and 0.2% respectively. The rupee is trading at 52.96 to the US dollar.
Cement stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Ambuja Cements, UltraTech Cement and ACC Ltd trading in the red. However, Mangalam Cement and Madras Cement are trading firm. Ambuja Cements has announced its production and sales numbers for the month of December 2011. Cement production during December 2011 increased by 6.8% YoY to 1.91 million tonnes (mt) from 1.79 mt in December 2010. On the other hand, cement despatches were higher by 5.8% YoY at 1.93 mt in December 2011, compared with 1.83 mt in the corresponding month of the previous financial year. For the calendar period January-December 2011, cement production and despatches were 20.97 mt and 20.96 mt respectively, both higher by 4.2% YoY compared to the corresponding figures of the previous calendar year.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto and Hero MotoCorp leading the gains. However, Ashok Leyland and Maruti Suzuki are trading in the red. Post its separation from Honda in August 2011, the Munjal family-led Hero MotoCorp has unveiled 3 new models- 100 cc bike Passion Xpro, 125 cc bike Ignitor and 110 cc scooter called Maestro- that will be launched in the Indian market this year. Maestro, which will be targeted towards men belonging to the age group of 18 to 24 years, will be launched in January. The other two bikes, which will be launched later in the year, will be targeted towards executives and college students. In the calendar year 2011, the two-wheeler major registered record sales of more than 6 m units of two-wheelers.