The Indian markets have started today's session on a positive note. The benchmark indices opened slightly below the breakeven mark but soon moved into the green and have managed to stay in the positive since then. Other key Asian markets are trading amidst gains, with Hong Kong (up 1.4%) leading the pack of gainers. The US markets closed marginally lower yesterday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading in the green with banking and auto stocks attracting investors' interest. However, select software stocks are in the red. The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 25 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 10 points. Buying interest is also being witnessed among mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 1% each. The rupee is trading at 44.35 to the US dollar.
FMCG stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Godrej Consumer and Colgate. As per a leading business daily, Godrej Consumer has acquired the Indonesian household product maker PT Megasari Mamsur and its distribution arm, PT Intrasari Raya. The Rs 6 bn Megasari manufactures household insecticides, wet tissues and air fresheners under the Hit, Mitu and Stella brand names. This is the fifth acquisition for Godrej Consumer. Earlier it has acquired Nigeria based Tura, UK based Keyline, and South Africa based Rapidol and Kinky. The Megasari acquisition is part of Godrej Consumer's strategy to be present in three continents - Asia, Africa and Latin America across the 3 categories of home care, personal wash and hair care. The company will distribute its product range through Megasari's distribution network which reaches to Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and China. It plans to fund the acquisition through a mix of internal accruals and debt. In our view, such acquisitions are an attempt by the second string of Indian FMCG companies to quickly ramp up size and market presence.
Steel stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include NMDC and Bhushan Steel. As per a leading business daily, India's largest steel maker SAIL has posted a 8% YoY sales growth in March at 1.4 m tonnes owing to robust demand from automobile and infrastructure sectors. This clearly indicates the revival of industrial activity which had slumped last year due to the economic slowdown. The recent hike in steel prices is also an indication of the increase in demand. Steel majors such as SAIL, Tata Steel, JSW Steel an Essar have recently hiked prices by up to Rs 3,000 per tonne. Prices are expected to rise further due to rising cost of raw materials especially iron ore. At a time when India needs increased quantities of the metal for infrastructure, higher prices will adverse affect the cost structure of host of end users.