Barring Indonesia (up 0.3%), the major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note with stock markets in Taiwan (down 0.5%), Hong Kong (down 0.5%) and Japan (down 0.5%) leading the losses. The Indian share market indices have opened the day in the red as well. The sectoral indices have opened mixed with stocks in the pharma and auto space leading the gains. However, capital goods stocks and metal stocks are facing selling pressure.
The Sensex today is down by around 27 points (0.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 11 points (0.2%). Mid and small cap stocks have opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.2% each. The rupee is trading at Rs 55.11 to the US dollar.
Steel stocks have opened mixed with Tayo Rolls Ltd and Tata Sponge Ltd leading the gains. However, Steel Authority of India Ltd and JSW Ispat Ltd were facing selling pressure. As per a leading financial daily, the Government has imposed safeguard duty at a rate of 20 % on imports of a certain variety of stainless steel from China. It is important to note here that safeguard duty is a temporary measure taken for a certain time-frame to protect domestic players from cheap Chinese imports. Currently, the government levies a 5 % import duty on imports of stainless steel. The move is likely to help domestic stainless steel industry that has surplus stainless steel production capacity at about 3.5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA).
Auto stocks have opened the day mainly in green with Force Motors Ltd and Maharashtra Scooters Ltd leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, Tata Motors Ltd has introduced a warranty of four years on its entire range of heavy trucks with 25 tonnes and higher gross vehicle weight (GVW). With this, the company has become the first in India to offer a standard warranty of four years on heavy trucks. The warranty will be applicable to the full range of tractor trailers, multi-axle trucks and tippers of 25 tonnes GVW sold after January 6, 2013. As per the management, the company accounts for two of every three tractor trailers, multi-axle trucks and tippers (with 25-tonne GVW or higher) sold in the country.