Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note. While stock markets in Japan (up 0.5%) and Malaysia (up 0.3%) are leading the gains, markets in Indonesia (down 0.5%) and Hong Kong (down 0.4%) are facing selling pressure. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note. Stocks in the realty and capital goods space are the major losers.
The BSE-Sensex is down by around 142 points (0.8%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 48 points (0.9%). Mid cap and small cap stocks are trading in the negative zone as well, with the BSE Mid cap and the BSE Small cap indices down by about 0.6% and 0.3% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 49.19 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Ashok Leyland and Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (M&M) leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, Tata Motors (Telco) is set to revamp its small car Nano with a sportier, more powerful variant that will have an 800 cc engine. This will take Nano from the ultra-low cost territory to the entry level segment where it will compete with the likes of the Hyundai Eon and the Maruti Suzuki Alto. However, the current 624 cc engine will continue be the mainstay with a strong focus on semi-urban and rural markets. Currently, the different variants of Nano are priced between Rs 1.4 lakh and just under Rs 2 lakh. The new proposed variant will be aimed at more affluent customers who are drifting towards cars in the Rs 2.4 lakh and above price range. This variant is likely to take 10-12 months to develop.
Information technology stocks have opened the day on a negative note as well with Infosys and Wipro leading the pack of losers. With the appointment of JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley as the bankers for the merger process, IT firms Tech Mahindra and Mahindra Satyam have come a step closer to their merger. These bankers would provide the fairness opinion after the valuation exercise is completed. After the fairness opinion, the proposal will be submitted to the boards of the two firms for approval. Tech Mahindra had acquired the scam-hit Satyam Computer Services in 2009. It had re-branded it as Mahindra Satyam with the ultimate goal of merging the two companies. The merger is expected to be completed by the end of the year.