Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note. While stock markets in China (up 1.3%), Hong Kong (up 1.1%) and Singapore (up 0.8%) are the leading gainers, the markets in Japan are facing selling pressure. http://www.equitymaster.com/tm Indian stock markets have opened the day in the green. Stocks from auto and metal space are leading the gains. However, realty and FMCG stocks are trading in the red.
The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 53 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 13 points (0.2%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading firm, with both the BSE Midcap index and BSE Small cap index up by 0.5% and 0.7% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.26 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a strong note with M&M, Hero Honda, Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki leading the pack of gainers. Maruti Suzuki, the country's largest car manufacturer, has increased prices of its vehicles across all models ranging from 0.2% to 2.4%. This will translate into a minimum increase of Rs 1,100 and a maximum of Rs 9,000, depending on the model. This move has come in to offset rising input costs. This is the second time in the year 2011 that the company has raised prices of its vehicles. In January 2011, the company has hiked prices between 0.5% and 2.2%.
auto industry has been bearing the brunt on rising prices of key commodities such as copper, steel, natural rubber and palladium. Maruti Suzuki had reported an 18% decline in net profits during the quarter ended December 2010 mainly due to rising input costs.
Power stocks have opened the day mainly in the green with ABB, Suzlon Energy and GVK Power trading firm. The power minister has stated that power generation projects totaling 28,000 MW would come into operation during the current fiscal year. As per him, there are projects totaling 28,450 MW of power generation which are currently under various stages of construction. Of these nearly 76% would be driven by coal, gas and lignite. The balance would be hydro and nuclear based projects.
The government has an ambitious target of adding 62,374 MW of power generation capacity in the 5-year plan ending March 2012. Of this only 34,462 MW of capacity has been added so far. India has a major power deficit of nearly 11% (as of February 2011). The country plans to halve this deficit within the next two years. It also plans to triple the generation capacity over the next 10 years. This is essential to meet the growing power needs of the country which are driven by rapid urbanization and growing industrialization.