Barring Japan (up 0.2%), the major Asian stock markets have opened the day in the red with stock markets in China (down 2.1%) and Malaysia (down 0.3%) leading the losses. The Indian share markets have opened on a negative note as well. The sectoral indices have opened mixed with the stocks in the the metal and oil and gaseous sectors leading the losses. However, stocks in the FMCG and capital goods sectors were leading the gains.
The Sensex today is down by around 81 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by about 22 points (0.3%). However, the mid cap and small cap stocks have opened in the green with BSE Mid Cap index and BSE Small Cap index up by 0.03% and 0.2% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 62.14 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened mainly in the red with TVS Motors Ltd and Tata Motors Ltd leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, the overseas shipments of passenger cars declined by 2.65 % last year to 5, 47,087 units. Some of the main reasons for the decline were regulatory issues faced by the industry in the big export markets like Algeria and Sri Lanka and slowdown in Europe in 2014. It is noteworthy here that Indian carmakers are facing high taxation issues in Sri Lanka while Algeria has brought in changes in the technical regulations overnight, thus adversely impacting the exports to these markets. That said the export performance in the Latin American countries and some parts of Africa has been well so far. The car makers are eyeing new avenues and have identified about over 20 new regions to keep car exports strong.
Mining stocks have opened mainly in the red with Coal India Ltd and Gujarat NRE Coke Ltd leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, the mining baron Mr. Anil Agarwal is mulling over merger of cash rich entities Cairn India Ltd and Hindustan Zinc Ltd into his flagship Vedanta group firm to create a global natural resources giant to rivals Rio Tinto or BHP Billiton. He has appointed consultants to explore if the decision makes sense. It is important to note here that while Cairn India and Hindustan Zinc remain cash rich, Sesa Sterlite Ltd has a debt of around Rs 298 bn on its balance sheet.