Barring Taiwan (up 0.4%), all major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note with stock markets in Japan (down 1.8%) and South Korea (down 1.5%) leading the losses. The Indian share markets have also opened the day on a weak note. Stocks in the banking and realty space are leading the losses.
The Sensex today is down by around 147 points (0.8%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 54 point (1%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the red with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices down by around 0.9% and 1% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.29 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Ashok Leyland, Hero MotoCorp and Escorts Ltd leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, leading Indian truck maker Tata Motors has launched its global range of Tata Prima in Sri Lanka. The company has done this along with its partner, Diesel & Motor Engineering PLC. The company has launched a range of models that will mainly target container movement, cement transportation and gas logistics across the island country. It is worth noting that Tata Prima is the most technologically advanced trucks developed by Tata Motors to cater to some of the overseas markets.
During the period April to February of the financial year 2012-13 (FY13), Tata Motors witnessed a sharp drop of over 35% year-on-year in its export shipments of medium and heavy trucks. The company hopes that the launch of Tata Prima will provide some support to this segment.
Mining stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Ashapura Minechem Ltd and Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation (MMTC) leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, power companies have been putting pressure on state-run mining giant Coal India Ltd (CIL) to stop e-auction of coal after May 01, 2013. A few days ago, a meeting was held between all power utilities, generators, CIL and the regulator. At the meeting, it was decided that CIL would have to stop e-auction of coal in case it failed to supply the entire contracted quantity of coal to power generators. If the coal miner did not stop the e-auction, it would have to pay a penal surcharge for buying electricity from power generators. It must be noted that CIL uses power at its mines to run machines and equipments that ferry miners into and out of the mines.
As per the fuel supply agreement, CIL is supposed to ensure the supply of 80% of the coal requirement of power plants that have been set up post April 2009. Of this, CIL is to supply 65% quantity through domestic supplies. The rest is to be supplied through imports. CIL has been selling about 10 million tonnes of coal through e-auction. Power generators want CIL to use this e-auction quantity to be supplied to them. After supplying this quantity, the miner could then supply the balance requirement through imports.