Barring China (down 0.4%), the major Asian stock markets have opened the day in the red with stock markets in Japan (down 1.6%) and Hong Kong (down 0.7%) leading the losses. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a weak note as well. Barring software and FMCG, the sectoral indices have opened in the negative with stocks in the metal and auto sector leading the losses.
The Sensex today is down by around 83 points (0.4%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 29 points (0.5%). The mid cap and small cap stocks have also opened in the red with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices down by around by around 0.5% and 0.2% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.04 to the US dollar.
The stocks in the auto have opened the day mainly in the red with Tata Motors Ltd and Maruti Suzuki Ltd leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, the workers at Hero MotoCorp Ltd's Gurgaon unit will go on a hunger strike from Thursday to demand a hike in the wages. Only the union members of Hero MotoCorp Workers' Union (HMCWU, Gurgaon unit) will go on the hunger strike so that production at the factory does not get affected. The workers at the Gurgaon unit have been demanding higher wages for the past two months now. The average salary of a permanent worker at Gurgaon currently is around Rs 32,000 (up to Rs 38,000 for more experienced employee).The employees have demanded a hike of Rs 15,000 in the monthly salary. However, the management is reluctant to increase wages beyond Rs 7,500-9,000 in monthly settlement. In the last month, the workers at the unit had reportedly slowed production operations over this issue. In response, the company had issued showcause notices against six members of the union for disrupting production operations on January 23 and January 24. In their latest round of talks, the company management has refused to budge from their stance. A notice regarding hunger strike has already been sent to the company. As of now, no date has been finalized for the next round of talks.
The stocks in the engineering sector have opened the day on a mixed note with Shanthi Gears Ltd and Opto Circuits Ltd leading the losses. However, Welspun Corporation and Bharat Earthmovers Ltd have opened in the green. As per a leading financial daily, Railways have joined hands with Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) for setting up a modern Mainline Electric Multiple Unit (MEMU) coach factory. This would be worth Rs 10 bn and will be set up at Bhilwara, Rajasthan. The project aims to cater to the growing demand for faster local and suburban trains. The MEMU trains that are equipped with higher acceleration capacity are expected to move faster on electrified tracks and would benefit daily commuters. The Railway Minister has said that the state of Rajasthan will be offering 200 acres of land in Bhilwara for setting up the MEMU coach factory.