Barring Malaysia (up o.2%), all major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note with stock markets in China (down 2.6%), Japan (down 1.5%) and Hong Kong (down 1.1%) leading the losses. The Indian share markets indices have also opened the day on a weak note as well. Stocks in the consumer durable, auto and realty space are leading the losses. However, IT stocks are trading firm.
The Sensex today is down by around 60 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 18 point (0.3%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the red with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices down by around 0.3% and 0.2% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.37 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp and Tube Investments leading the losses. Owing to the ongoing slowdown in the Indian economy, passenger car sales are expected to report a decline. This would be first such decline in the last ten years. This has resulted in high inventory levels for automobile manufacturers. In a bid to increase footfall in auto showrooms and revive slumping sales, auto makers have started initiating discounts and novels offers. In response to fall in volumes in the last two months, Tata Motors has cut down the prices of its Indica, Indigo and Manza range of cars by up to Rs 50,000. In addition, the company has also launched a buy-back programme for its Manza sedan. As per the programme, buyers are being offered an assured 60% on the car's purchase price after three years.
Leading passenger vehicle maker Maruti Suzuki has about 100,000 cars in its supply chain. The auto maker is offering a one-gm gold coin on a booking of the Alto 800 or the Alto K10. Moreover, it is also offering benefits of up to Rs 43,000 on the models in the form of cash discounts, exchange bonuses and discounted accessories.
Aluminium stocks have opened the day on a weak note with National Aluminium Company (NALCO) and Hindalco Industries trading in the red. As per a leading financial daily, state-run aluminium firm NALCO has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Union Ministry of Mines pertaining to production volume and revenue targets for the financial year 2013-14 (FY14). As per the agreement, the sales turnover target for FY14 has been fixed at Rs 77,570 m. This is about 10% higher than the turnover of the ongoing financial year 2012-13 (FY13). On the production front, the company has been given an annual production target of 64.50 lakh tonnes of bauxite, 21.5 lakh tonnes of alumina, 4.05 lakh tonnes of aluminium and power generation of 6,341 million units.
As regards new projects, the proposed targets include a new alumina refinery in Gujarat, adding up a new stream of 10 lakh tonnes in the existing alumina refinery based on Pottangi bauxite deposit, the company's third wind power project at Damanjodi and the solar power project at any suitable location in the country. Moreover, NALCO has set targets for on-going Utkal-E coal mine project at Angul and upgradation of 4th stream of alumina refinery at Damanjodi.