Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note with stock markets in Japan (down 1.4%), Taiwan (down 1.3%) and South Korea (down 1%) leading the losses. The Indian stock markets have also opened the day on a weak note. Stocks in the realty and metal space are leading the losses, while power stocks are trading in the green.
The BSE-Sensex is trading down by 95 points (0.5%) while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 29 points (0.5%). Mid cap and small cap stocks are trading mixed. While the BSE Mid cap index is down by 0.1%, the BSE Small cap index is up by 0.2%. The rupee is trading at Rs 50.96 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Bajaj Auto, Hero MotoCorp and Ashok Leyland trading in the red. India's second largest two-wheeler maker Bajaj Auto has raised further its stake in the Austrian motorcycle company KTM Power Sports by 6.3%. This takes it total stake in the company to a little over 47%. As per a leading financial daily, Bajaj recently purchased the stake from a key shareholder through an open market transaction. The purchase was made through Bajaj Auto International Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary based in Netherlands. Bajaj is the second largest shareholder in KTM. As per Managing Director Mr Rajiv Bajaj, the company does not want to be a majority shareholder of KTM. The two companies have been working together on some joint development projects.
Mining stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Coal India, Sesa Goa Ltd and Gujarat NRE Coke leading the pack of losers. India's largest coal producer Coal India (CIL) has been forced by the government to guarantee fuel supply to private power companies. The government has issued a presidential decree that would force CIL to meet its commitments. As per the decree, CIL would have to pay heavy penalties if it is unable to supply up to 80% of its commitment to the private power companies. This move will help the private power companies who have been running idling plants with a total capacity of nearly 28,000 mega-watts (MW). It will also help the additional 22,000 MW that is expected to be constructed over the next 3 years.