The major Asian stock markets have opened the day mainly in the red with stock markets in Singapore (down 0.4%) and Japan (down 2.2%) leading the losses. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a weak note. The sectoral indices have opened mixed with stocks in the auto and software sector leading the losses. However, stocks in the FMCG and capital goods space have opened in the green.
The Sensex today is down by around 35 points (0.2%), while the NSE-Niftyis down by around 6 points (0.1%). Mid and small cap stocks have however opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.1% each. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 61.53 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day mainly in the red with Tata Motors Ltd and Bajaj Auto Ltd leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, Tata Motors has launched a new top end variant of Nano called 'Twist' at Rs 2.36 lakh (ex-showroom New Delhi). The new car will have features like electric power steering with improved beige interiors, new instrument cluster with driver information system, redesigned gearshift console etc. The price of Twist is Rs 14,000 more than the existing top variant LX. As per the management, Twist is aimed at youngsters and first time car buyers. The share of buyers in the age bracket of 18-34 years increased to 55% in 2013 from just 20% in 2012. It is important to note here that the cumulative sales of Nano in the period between April 2013 to December of 2013 registered a decline of 71.8% year on year. The company expects Nano Twist variant sales to make up for 50% of its overall Nano sales going ahead.
Telecom stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Bharti Airtel and MTNL leading the losses. However, Idea Cellular Ltd and ITI Ltd are leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, Bharti Airtel Ltd, ahead of the spectrum auction, is seeking to raise total debt of €1 bn from EUR bond. It has already raised €750 m in December from these notes. The company has reopened its €750 m bond offering that received a positive response earlier. Geographically, the notes were distributed 38% in the UK, 18% in Germany and Austria, 35 % collectively in France, Switzerland, Scandinavia and Netherlands and other European countries and 9% in Asia. The decision to raise fresh funds has been taken ahead of spectrum auction in which the company may have to bid for frequencies in the 900 Mhz band that it uses in Delhi and Kolkata for mobile services and where its licenses are expiring in November this year.