The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a strong note with Japan (up 0.6%) and Taiwan (up 0.3%) leading the pack of gainers. However, Indonesian markets (down 0.2%) are trading in the red. The Indian markets have opened on a positive note too. All of the sectoral indices are trading in the green with the exception of IT.
BSE-Sensex is currently trading up by about 173 points (up 0.6%), while the NSE-Nifty is higher by about 52 points (up 0.5%). Both BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices have also opened the day in green, up by 0.44% and 0.4 % respectively. The rupee was trading at Rs 62.12 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Export figures for the month of January were announced recently. And they were quite disappointing to say the least. Exports declined 11.2% YoY, their biggest decline in the past 3 years, to US$ 23.9bn. Fall in the export of petroleum products, gems & jewelry and pharma items led to a fall in growth. Many exporters believed that high cost of credit and absence of interest subvention benefit led to such a massive decline. If the decline of such quantum persists in continuing months then it would be difficult for the government to meet its export target of US$ 340 bn.
FMCG stocks have opened the day on a strong note. Gillette India and Lakshmi Energy are leading the pack of gainers while Kokuyo Camlin and P&G Hygiene are trading weak. As per news report, ITC has entered into agreement whereby it shall buy two major brands of Johnson & Johnson - Savlon and Shower to Shower. While the former is a brand of antiseptic soaps the latter is a powder/talc brand. This is ITC's first acquisition in the personal care segment and bodes well with its strategy to expand its non-cigarette portfolio of offerings. This shall definitely help ITC in the long run. While the size of deal is not disclosed the street believes it is in the region of Rs 1.8-2 bn.