Barring Malaysia (down 0.2%), major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note with the stock markets in Hong Kong (up 1.3%) and Indonesia (up 0.9%) leading the gains. The Indian share markets have also opened the day on a firm note. Barring FMCG and capital goods, all sectoral indices have opened in the green with stocks in the realty and banking space leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 70 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 22 points (0.3%). The mid and small cap stocks have opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.7% and 0.6% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 60.24 to the US dollar.
Engineering stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Suzlon Energy and Jyoti Structures Ltd leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, engineering major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has bagged contracts worth Rs 19.81 bn in the housing sector this month. The company has won a major residential order in Bangalore from one of South India's leading property dealers. It is worth noting that this is the company's biggest residential order this year. The scope of work involves construction of 24 towers and 271 villas. The towers will comprise two basements and a ground floor with levels varying from 18 to 29 floors. The expected timeline for the completion of the project is 42 months. In addition to this project, the company has bagged another order which pertains to construction of a residential township in Gujarat with 134 housing units on turnkey basis.
Private bank stocks have opened the day in the green with Lakshmi Vilas Bank and IndusInd Bank leading the pack of gainers. As per a leading financial daily, India's third largest private sector lender Axis Bank has launched the 'Kisan Card' through which a farmer can withdraw up to Rs 1 lakh per day from automated teller machines (ATM). The card will provide easy, round-the-clock liquidity access to farmers. It must be noted that the Kisan Card will be offered to agrarian customers on their cash credit crop loan accounts. Currently, about 90-95% of such customers come to the bank branch for transactions. However, with the launch of Kisan Card, the bank expects 30-40% farmers to migrate to this alternate channel. Apart from facilitating easy access to liquidity, it will also help them cut down the interest burden as the interest payments start after the money drawn.