After a lacklustre last week, Indian markets have started this one on a strong note. The benchmark indices opened above the breakeven mark and have managed to stay in the positive territory since then. Other key Asian markets are also trading in the positive with Hong Kong (up 1.5%) leading the pack. The US markets also closed higher by 0.1% last Friday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading in the positive with power and auto stocks leading the pack. The BSE-Sensex is trading up by around 100 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by 30 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 1% and 1.2% respectively. The rupee is trading at 45.47 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include TVS Motor and Hero Honda. As per a leading business daily, M&M
plans to enter the motorcycle segment during 2010 with the launch of an in-house developed bike. It may be noted that the company is already present in the ungeared scooters segment. Now it plans to become a significant player in the two-wheeler market cutting across the various categories. As such, the motorcycle will be one among several launches for the company.
The Indian two-wheeler market is estimated at about 8 m units annually. Despite the strong growth posted in recent times, there is still considerable unmet demand in the market in our view. Little wonder then, this year will witness a slew of launches from domestic two-wheeler giants as well as international majors.
Steel stocks have opened the day on a strong note. Gainers here include NMDC and SAIL. As per a leading business daily, the steel ministry plans to set up a special arm under SAIL for overseas acquisitions. It is likely to be called SAIL Videsh. It may be noted that the existing vehicle for acquiring mining assets abroad is the International Coal Ventures. However, this joint venture between SAIL, NMDC, NTPC and Coal India has not met with much success in acquiring coal abroad. In our view, India has now stepped up its efforts in acquiring mineral assets abroad driven by rising domestic demand. While the efforts in oil and gas assets have borne fruit under ONGC Videsh, it remains to be seen how SAIL Videsh’s efforts pan out.