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Metal weighs on Indian stock markets
Thu, 22 Mar 09:30 am

Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note. While stock markets in Taiwan (up 0.8%) and Malaysia (up 0.2%) are trading firm, markets in China (down 0.4%) and Singapore (down 0.4%) are facing selling pressure. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note. Stocks in the metal space are the major losers. However, FMCG and auto stocks are trading firm.

The BSE-Sensex is down by around 40 points (0.2%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 15 points (0.3%). However, mid cap and small cap stocks are trading in the positive zone, with the BSE Mid cap and the BSE Small cap indices up by about 0.1% and 0.3% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 50.79 to the US dollar.

Auto stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Ashok Leyland and Hero MotoCorp leading the gains. In a bid to give further boost to sales in China, the world's largest car market, Tata Motors-owned luxury British car brand Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has finalised a joint venture with Chery Automobile Co to manufacture and sell vehicles in China. JLR and Chery are seeking regulatory approval for the 17.5 billion Yuan (US$2.78 billion) venture in eastern China. As per a statement released by the carmakers, the joint venture will manufacture and sell JLR and JV branded vehicles and engines. It will also set up a research and development facility. While the overall Chinese car market is showing signs of slowing, demand for luxury cars is still quite upbeat.

Finance stocks have opened the day on a weak note with SREI Infrastructure Finance and Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC) facing selling pressure. State-owned non-banking finance company (NBFC) Power Finance Corporation (PFC) is planning to raise funds to the tune of Rs 30 bn through the issue of domestic corporate bonds. As per Chairman and Managing Director, PFC is aiming to raise a minimum of Rs 1.5 bn through this issue. The company has also kept a greenshoe option which will enable it a raise up to Rs 30 bn. PFC opened the issue yesterday and will close it today. The state-owned firm managed to raise about Rs 320 bn in financial year 2011-12 (FY12). In FY13, the company has set a target of about Rs 400 bn. These funds will be utilised for financing various power projects across the country.

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