Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note. On one hand, stock markets in China (up 0.3%), Japan (up 0.1%) and Korea (up 0.1%) are trading in the green. On the other hand, markets in Indonesia (down 1.8%), Singapore (down 0.2%) and Hong Kong (down 0.1%) are trading in the negative zone. The Indian stock markets have however opened the day on a positive note as well. Stocks in the consumer durables and metals space are leading the pack of gainers.
The BSE-Sensex is up by around 60 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 18 points (0.3%). Mid cap and small cap stocks are trading in the positive territory as well, with the BSE Mid cap and the BSE Small cap indices up by about 0.9% each. The rupee is trading at Rs 49.04 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on high note with Ashok Leyland, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M) and Maruti Suzuki leading the pack of gainers. Ashok Leyland has recently announced that it plans to launch LCVs (Light Commercial Vehicles) in India over the next couple of years. These LCVs are a part of the joint venture between the company and Nissan. As stated by the management, the JV would be launching new vehicles in the LCV category every six months over the next few years. Ashok Leyland's 2.5 ton LCV under the brand name of 'Dost' has already sold more than 5,000 units till date. As per the management of the company, the LCV segment is all set to witness a huge uptick in demand in the coming years. It already accounts for nearly 57% of the total commercial vehicles segment.
Banking stocks have opened the day on a on a good note as well. Union Bank, Axis Bank and Bank of baroda (BOB) are leading the gains. However, Canara Bank and ICICI Bank are facing selling pressure. The country's largest lender, State Bank Of India (SBI) has stated that it will issue fresh shares to the Government of India. These shares would be issued on a preferential basis and are expected to raise Rs 79 m for the bank. This infusion of capital will raise the stake of the government in the bank to 2.5%. The funds would help the bank in improving the Tier-1 capital to 8%. As at the end of September 2011, the bank's Tier 1 capital stood at 7.47% which is below the minimum requirement of 8%. The last time SBI had rights issues (in 2008), the government had contributed in the form of bonds and not cash. The bank has to take a shareholders' approval for this process.