The Indian markets have started today's session on a choppy note. Although the benchmark indices opened below the breakeven mark, they quickly surged into the positive territory. However, they have not managed to hold on to their gains since then. Asia is currently trading marginally in the green with Japan (up 0.7%) leading the pack of gainers. The US markets closed higher by 0.3% yesterday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading a mixed bag with engineering and auto stocks leading the pack of gainers. However, select metal and software majors are in the red. The BSE-Sensex is trading up by around 20 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 5 points. Buying interest is also being witnessed among mid and small-cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 0.5% and 0.6% respectively. The rupee is trading at 45.73 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Ashok Leyland and Tata Motors. As per a leading business daily, Hero Honda plans to trigger 8 to 10 new launches in coming financial year - FY11. It may be noted that the company has achieved sales of 3.3 m vehicles in FY09 and is aiming at selling 4 m vehicles in FY10. The new planned launches are on the back of robust demand for two wheelers in India. This demand stems from the low penetration of vehicles when compared to the size of the opportunity. The premium segment is witnessing several launches in recent times, four from Hero Honda itself. But the size of demand is the greatest in the entry-level models.
In our view, the two wheeler sector will continue to perform well subject to two riders. First, whether the stimulus package will be continued, there by continuing the easy interest rates regime. And second, whether the prices of input commodities will remain within reasonable limits.
Energy stocks have opened today on a mixed note. Gainers here include GAIL and Indian Oil. However, Reliance Industries is in the red. As per a leading business daily, Reliance Industries has sweetened its offer to buy a controlling stake in LyondellBasell. Its new offer has pushed the valuation of the bankrupt Lyondell to about US$ 13.5 bn, up from US$ 12 bn bid in November last year. It may be noted that the company is under a bankruptcy court where it has filed a reorganization plan where senior creditors will emerge with the control of the company. The hike in Reliance's offer will make the management to reconsider its proposal. Having said that, the Indian petrochemical giant must be careful in not paying too rich a price in its hunt for even great scale and marketing reach.