Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note as China has cut down its growth forecasts for 2012 to an 8-year low of 7.5%. The stock markets in Hong Kong (down 0.5%), Taiwan (down 1.2%) and China (down 1.1%) are leading the losses. Despite the bearishness in Asia, the Indian stock markets have opened on a firm note as the nation awaits the state election results today. Stocks in the realty and capital goods space are the major gainers.
The BSE-Sensex is up by around 68 points (0.4%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 10 points (0.2%). Mid cap and small cap stocks are trading in the positive zone as well with the BSE Mid cap and BSE Small cap indices up by 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 mixed note with Ashok Leyland and Hero MotoCorp leading the losses. However, Tata Motors (Telco) is trading in the green. Indian passenger car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki is back on track in 2012 after facing severe labour problems in 2011 at its Manesar plant. The labour strike at Manesar plant affected the production for five months in 2011. In 2012, the top 3 car brands in the country belong to Maruti. Brands like the new Swift, Wagon R and Alto have kept the leadership position and have pushed the Hyundai i10 backwards. Even though diesel cars have become the favourite of many, Alto has maintained the leadership position. Some specialists have commented that Hyundai i10 has fallen backwards due to the unavailability of a diesel variant and cannibalisation from its new entry segment car Eon.
Power stocks have opened the day on a negative note with Tata Power and GVK Power leading the losses. In a bid to explore growth opportunities abroad, Tata Power has formed a joint venture (JV) with a South African mining company, Exxaro. The 50:50 JV between the two will be called Cennergi (Pty). It will explore electricity generating opportunities across South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. The focus of this JV will be the investigation of feasibility, development, ownership, operation, maintenance, acquisition and management of power generation projects. In the initial phase, it will concentrate on renewable energy projects in wind and solar. However, in future it would move on to other sources like coal as well.