Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with Japan (up 0.2%) trading firm while, Hong Kong (down 0.7%) and Singapore (down 0.4%) are trading lower. As for the Indian stock markets, the sentiment is neutral. While stocks from the metal, IT and auto spaces have found some favour, those from the banking and oil & gas space are trading lower currently.
The BSE-Sensex is trading flat (up 9 points; 0.05%), while the NSE-Nifty has gained 5 points or 0.1%. Stocks from the mid and small cap spaces are however seeing some interest as the BSE Mid cap and BSE Small cap indices are trading higher by around 0.2% each. The Rupee is trading at Rs 51.63 to the US dollar.
Stocks of steel companies are trading firm with Tata Steel and Jindal Saw leading the pack of gainers. The Government of India is willing to consider the demand of the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) led consortium for state funding of its US$ 10.8 bn investment plans in Afghanistan. The consortium is planning to set up steel and power plants in the war ravaged country. It is also looking at mining iron ore and developing associated infrastructure. In November 2011, the SAIL led consortium - which includes other state-owned companies such as National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) and Reliance Natural Resource (RINL) and private sector steel players JSW steel, JSW Ispat, Jindal Steel and Power and Monnet Steel and Power - had won mining rights for three iron ore blocks at Hajigak, Afghanistan. Citing security risks, difficulties involved in evacuation, long gestation nature of project and associated infrastructure, the consortium had requested the government for providing loan or aid for the project.
IT stocks are trading firm led by CMC Limited (CMC), Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Tech Mahindra. Midcap IT software and services company Mindtree announced its results for the quarter ending March 2012 (4QFY12). The company has reported a 1.2% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) growth in sales and 13.7% QoQ growth in net profits. This topline level growth came in on the back of a 4.9% QoQ growth in volumes. The company witnessed a good traction in the 'IT services' business segment during the quarter. On the other hand, its 'Product Engineering Services' segment reported a muted growth sequentially. Mindtree reported an expansion of 1.4% QoQ in margin at operating levels. This was largely driven by the lower employee cost which came on the back of broadening employee pyramid during the quarter. As for the full year FY12, the company's sales and net profits grew by 26.9% YoY and a 115% YoY respectively. Mindtree has proposed a final dividend of Rs 1.5 per share. Including this, total dividend per share for the year stands at Rs 4. The management expects the company to grow at above the industry average growth rate during FY13.