Most Asian stock markets have started the day on a good note despite the global worries in Middle East and Japan. Markets in Malaysia (up 0.3%), Indonesia (up 0.2%) and Hong Kong (up 0.1%) are trading in the positive zone. However, markets in China (down 0.9%) and Japan (down 0.1%) are facing selling pressure and are currently trading in the red. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a good note. Stocks in the realty and banking space are the major gainers.
The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 125 points (0.7%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 42 points (0.7%). Midcap and small cap stocks are trading in the positive as well, with the BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices up by about 0.5% and 0.6% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.69 to the US dollar.
Aluminium stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Nalco trading in the green while Hindalco is witnessing selling pressure. Global prices of aluminium have been firming up in recent times. Little doubt that aluminium major, Nalco has decided to raise its prices. The company's management plans to raise prices by Rs 2,000-3,000 per tonne. As per a leading daily, the company's price hike would be effective from 1st of April this year. The price hike is invariably essential at this stage to ensure parity with the import prices. Moreover, the company has been facing rising costs in terms of its key inputs as well. The company has kept its prices at par with the trend in the global prices of aluminium. It had raised prices in January this year but had also reduced the same when global prices slackened. It had again raised prices in February but reduced in March. Global aluminium prices have been firming up in recent times. The major cause of this has been the closing down of some smelters in China while the demand has remained firm. Nalco's management had earlier stated that they hope to achieve at least a 23% growth by the end of FY11 (March 2011) on the back of higher prices for the commodity.
Tyre stocks have opened the day on a strong note with Ceat, Apollo Tyres and Goodyear leading the list of gainers. Apollo Tyres is planning to increase prices of its products by up to 6% from April 2011. The move has come on the back of rising raw material costs. The company has cautioned that without a significant rise in product prices, the tyre industry would end up making losses. In the fiscal year 2011, raw material prices have gone up by 35-36%. Against such a rise, the company has been able to hike tyres prices by only 16-17% due to intense competition in the domestic tyre market. The prices of the company's passenger vehicle tyres vary between Rs 2,150 and Rs 12,500 per unit. The radial tyres of trucks and buses are available for Rs 16,900-Rs 20,200. From the first quarter of FY2012, the prices of bias commercial vehicle tyres are expected to go up by 3% while those of truck and bus radial tyres will be increased by 6%.