Barring Indonesia (up 0.3%), all major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note with Hong Kong (down 1.4%) and South Korea (down 1%) leading the losses. The Indian share markets have opened the day with marginal losses. Stocks in the energy and information technology space are leading the losses. However, capital goods stocks are trading firm.
The Sensex today is marginally down by around 16 points (0.07%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 3 points(0.05%). However, mid and small cap stocks are trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.03% and 0.3% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 61.81 to the US dollar.
Engineering stocks have mainly opened the day on a firm note with Opto Circuits, Emco Ltd and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) leading the gains. Engineering major Larsen & Toubro has announced its results for the third quarter of the financial year 2013-14 (3QFY14). During the quarter, the company's standalone net sales stood at Rs 143,875.1 m, higher by 11.8% on a year-on-year (YoY) basis. Operating expenditure increased at a slower rate of 9.5% YoY. As a result, the company's operating profit increased by 33.1% YoY to Rs 16,748.3 m. While other income declined by 20.1% YoY, depreciation charges and interest expenses increased by 12% YoY and 16.7% YoY respectively. The company reported exceptional gains of Rs 1,043.9 m during the quarter. At the bottomline level, net profit increased by 22.4% YoY to Rs 12,407 m. Net profit margins expanded from 7.8% in 3QFY13 to 8.5% in 3QFY14.
Auto stocks have mainly opened the day on a weak note with Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), Bajaj Auto and Escorts leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, Tata Motors is revamping its small car Nano in order to make it more acceptable in the passenger car market. It must be recalled that Nano was launched in 2009 as the poor man's car with Rs 1 lakh price tag. But the 'cheapest car' tag has failed to boost sales for the model. As such, the company is now taking a slew of measures aimed at turning around the fortunes of the Nano. The new refurbished model is likely to have features like power steering and contemporary design as standard fitments. This will see the car's price go beyond the Rs 2 lakh mark.