Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in Japan (up 0.5%) and Indonesia (up 0.3%) trading firm. However, markets in South Korea (down 1%) and Malaysia (down 0.1%) are facing selling pressure. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a firm note. Stocks in the IT and capital goods space are leading the gains. However, metal and oil and gas stocks are trading in the red.
The Sensex today is up by around 15 points (0.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is up marginally by around 1 point (0.02%). Mid and small cap stocks are trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.3% each. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.82 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Escorts and Tata Motors leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, India's leading passenger vehicle manufacturer by sales volume Maruti Suzuki is likely to set up a new factory by next quarter. The initiative would be aimed at adding capacity as well as accessing ports on the west coast of India. It is said that the company will take a final decision pertaining to the commencement of construction of the new factory at its next board meeting which is scheduled in April 2013. It must be noted that Maruti had signed an agreement to set up a manufacturing facility in Gujarat in June 2012. At present, the automaker has two factories in the country with a capacity to manufacture 1.45 m units per annum.
Mining stocks have opened the day on a weak note with MMTC Ltd and Coal India Ltd (CIL) leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, mining giant CIL has said that it may have to decrease prices of its high quality coal. Given that prevailing global market rates are lower than those offered by CIL, consumers have been shunning high quality coal from the state-run miner. Two large consumers, namely, Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) and Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Ltd (GSECL), have objected to the prices charged by CIL. The high quality coal, which corresponds to the A and B grades of the earlier useful heat value (UHV) system, accounts for about 18% of CIL's 435 m tonnes annual production. It is said that if prices for high quality coal are not slashed, consumers buying C-grade coal may also start raising objections.