Most major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note with stock markets in Taiwan (down 2%), Hong Kong (down 1.2%) and South Korea (down 1%) leading the losses. The Indian stock markets have also opened the day on a weak note. Stocks in the Information Technology and capital goods sectors are the major losers.
The BSE-Sensex is down by around 138 points (0.8%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 43 points (0.8%). Mid cap and small cap stocks are trading in the negative zone as well, with the BSE Mid cap and the BSE Small cap indices down by about 0.5% and 0.1% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 51.07 to the US dollar.
Cement stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Mangalam Cement, India Cements and ACC leading the pack of losers. Cement producer ACC that is owned by the Swiss-based Holcim Group declared that they will invest Rs 33 bn over the next three years. This will increase their capacity by 16% to nearly 35 m tonnes from the current 30 m tonnes per annum. The entire investment of Rs 33 bn will be completely sourced from internal accruals as the business is operating very well. The Managing Director said that the company will set up the new facility of 4 m tonnes per annum and a 2.79 m tonnes per annum clinker plant in Chhattisgarh. However, the company will also phase out the existing clinkering and grinding line at Jamul. Another grinding plant will also be set up at Sindri in Jharkhand and Kharagpur in West Bengal.
Engineering stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Voltas facing selling pressure. Engineering and capital goods major L&T will shortly start supplying nuclear components and sub assemblies to the clients in the US and Europe. The company expects to play a much enhanced role in power generation through a supplier and contractor model. So far, L&T has bagged orders in the range of US$ 40 m. The orders are from various categories, one being, shielded canisters which are made by using special steel. These canisters are helpful in storage of radioactive waste from nuclear power plants. L&T management said that while hitherto they used to depend on other companies to procure nuclear plant related equipments, they are now capable of producing and supplying them not only domestically but also export overseas. This will help India to reduce its dependence on foreign suppliers for the nuclear power plants and related equipments.