The major Asian stock markets have opened the day in the green with stock markets in Singapore (up 0.8%) and Hong Kong (up 0.7%) leading the gains. The Indian share markets have opened on positive note as well. The sectoral indices have opened mixed with the stocks in the consumer goods and FMCG leading the gains. However, stocks in the metal and healthcare segments were facing selling pressure.
The Sensex today is up by around 18 points (0.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 7 points (0.1%). The mid cap and small cap stocks have also opened in the green with BSE Mid Cap index and BSE Small Cap index up by 0.4% and 0.2% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 63.49 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened on a mixed note with Tata Motors and Tube Investments Ltd leading the losses. However, Ashok Leyland Ltd and TVS Motors Ltd have opened in the green. As per a leading financial daily, with the increase in the excise duty by at least 4% since January 1, 2015, car prices have shot up by 5%-6% (by amounts in the range of Rs 15,000 to Rs 1.3 lakh). Also, other costs like road tax and value-added tax have made the price increase much bigger. Carmakers like Hyundai, General Motors, Toyota Kirloskar, Honda Cars and Tata Motors have already passed on the increase to customers, sports utility vehicle segment leaders Mahindra & Mahindra and Nissan are likely to increase prices this week. The prices of two and three wheelers also have been raised by amounts in the range of Rs 2,000 and 7,000 as duty has gone up to 12% from earlier rate of 8%. As a result of this development, the companies in the auto sector are expecting the demand to come under pressure.
Stocks in the telecom sector have opened mixed with AGC Networks Ltd and ADC India Communications Ltd leading the losses. However, ITI LTd and MTNL have opened in the green. As per a leading financial daily, the telecom spectrum prices in the upcoming auction are likely to be very high and are likely to make things difficult for telecom companies. As per the secretary general of the Cellular Operators Association of India, while four to six players expected to participate in the auction, the government's decision to raise prices and put only five MHz of 2,100-MHz spectrum up for bids, instead of 20 MHz, will lead to a huge increase in prices, which companies may find hard to afford. Just like in 2010, the telecom operators are likely to face a shortage of spectrum again. As far as the Government is concerned, the spectrum auction is likely to fetch more money than expected.