The Indian markets have started today's session on an extremely positive note. The benchmark indices opened above the breakeven mark and have managed to move further into the positive territory since then. Other key Asian markets are trading in the green with Indonesia (up 0.7%) leading the pack of gainers. The US markets closed higher by 0.8% yesterday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading strong with auto and metal stocks attracting investors' interest. The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 216 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 65 points. Buying interest is also being witnessed among mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 1.3% and 1.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at 46.03 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Tata Motors and TVS Motor. As per a leading business daily, Tata Motors has reported a growth of 58% YoY in February sales at 69,427 units, up from 43,811 units during the same period last year. Its domestic passenger vehicles sales grew 44% YoY at 29,241 units in February this year, up from 20,348 units. Total exports jumped to 3,237 units, as compared to 1,318 units. Within the passenger car segment, among the various models, the Indica range sold 11,502 units during February this year, followed by Indigo at 7,373 units, Sumo and Safari at 4,005 units and Nano at 4,105 units. In the commercial vehicles segment, the company clocked in 39,205 units, up from 23,454 units during the same month last year. This would be welcome news for the company at a time when the stock has been weighted down due to fears of a stimulus roll back and labour union issues over job cuts and wages on the JLR front.
Cement stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include JK Lakshmi Cement and Dalmia Cement. The impact of the union budget 2010-2011 is already visible in the cement sector. As per a leading business daily, companies across the industry have increased the price of cement in the range of Rs 10 to Rs 12 per bag. In our opinion, this is due to the excise duty hike from 8% to 10% as well as the rise in transportation costs due to costlier diesel. Interestingly, the price hike has been uniform through out India despite the fact that cement is a zone-specific industry and prices depend on the market conditions of each region.