Barring Malaysia (down 0.1%) and South Korea (down 0.1%), the major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note with the stock markets in Indonesia(up 1.0%) and Japan(up 0.6%) leading the gains. The Indian share markets have also opened the day on a firm note. Barring software, all sectoral indices have opened in the green with stocks in the realty and consumer durables space leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 100 points (0.5%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 28 points (0.4%). The mid and small cap stocks have opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 1.0% each. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 59.92 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Ashok Leyland Ltd and Escorts Ltd leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, the leading auto manufacturer Maruti Suzuki Ltd will be launching three products this year, the first two being the facelift versions of the Swift and the Swift DZire and the third being the Ciaz production version. The move is in wake of increasing competition in the Indian auto industry. The company is under pressure to maintain its market share position. At the peak phase, the company had acquired an overall market share of 70%. However, lately the company stands close to 50% of market share. The three new vehicles to be introduced are likely to help the company regain its lost grounds.
Telecom stocks have opened the day mainly in the green with Reliance Communications Ltd and Idea Cellular Ltd leading the pack of gainers. As per the data released by Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI), the GSM operators have added a total of 7.61 million subscribers in February 2014. This implies a 1.08 % increase on a month on month basis. The current user base now stands at 711.02 million. The numbers for the month, however, do not include numbers from the country's largest telecom service provider, Bharti Airtel which could not release its subscriber addition numbers due to technical problem. Vodafone India recorded addition of 2.16 million users in February, with its total subscriber base at 164.34 million. Idea Cellular during the month added 3.33 million subscribers, taking its total subscriber base to 133.55 million. In the rural areas, the GSM operators added a total of 3.45 million rural subscribers in February, a 1.24 % growth on a month on month basis, with total user base at 288.89 million. Vodafone India had 88.46 million users as of February end, followed by Idea Cellular (73.20 million), Aircel (24.88 million) and Telewings (10.95 million).