The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a positive note with stock markets in Hong Kong(up 1.2%) and Japan (up 1.9%) leading the gains. The Indian share market indices have also opened the day on a firm note. All sectoral indices have opened in the green with stocks in the realty and capital goods space witnessing maximum gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 148 points (0.8%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 39 points (0.7%). The mid cap and small cap stocks have opened in the green as well with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around by around 0.7% and 0.6% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 53.64 to the US dollar.
The stocks in the energy sector have opened the day mainly in green with Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) and Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) leading the gains. However, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Castrol India Ltd opened in the red. Castrol India Limited has announced its results for the quarter ending December 2012 (4QCY12).Net sales for the quarter declined by around 1% on a year on year (YoY) basis. The net profits for the quarter, however, grew by 10% YoY. This was mainly on account of better management and cost control. As per the management, the gross margins for the quarter also improved on account of better product mix, stable rupee and softening base oil price. For full year (CY12), the net sales registered a growth of 4% YoY while bottomline declined by 7% YoY. The management has said the year 2012 was a challenging year with no growth in the lubricant market. The raw material costs during the year increased by 8% YoY mainly on account of devaluation of the Indian Rupee. However, the company has been able to maintain gross profits through a combination of premium product mix and better sales realization. As per the management guidance, the next few quarters are likely to remain challenging.
The stocks in the PSU banking sector have opened the day in the green with Union Bank Ltd and Central Bank Ltd leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, State Bank of India (SBI) has raised interest rates on term deposits by 25 basis points. The bank will increase interest rates on all fixed deposit schemes, from one year to 10 years, by 25 basis points. As such, interest rates which were earlier 8.5% on all these maturity baskets will be a uniform 8.75% with effect from March 1, 2013. The move is likely to set off a chain reaction among other banks. As per the management, the decision to hike rates is not a pointer to higher home loan rates. It has been taken to manage the issue of loan growth outstripping growth in advances. As a result of this trend, the surplus liquidity of the bank has been adversely impacted.