Most Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note. Stock markets in China (up 0.3%), Hong Kong (up 0.3%) and Singapore (up 0.3%) are trading in the green. However, stock markets in Japan (down 0.2%) are facing selling pressure. Indian stock markets have opened the day in the green on the back of buying interest in auto and metal stocks. However, IT (Information Technology) stocks are trading in the red.
The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 59 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 15 points (0.3%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading firm, with both the BSE Midcap index and BSE Small cap index up by 0.7% and 0.8% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.36 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a strong note with Hero Honda, Tata Motors and M&M leading the pack of gainers. Passenger car maker Maruti Suzuki has set an ambitious target for itself to sell 30 lakh cars every year by 2015-16. For this, the company plans to set up its 7th plant in addition to the two upcoming units at Manesar. The company's existing plant at Manesar has an annual capacity of 3.5 lakh units. With the upcoming additions, the annual capacity would be expanded to 8.5 lakh units. The two new units are being set up with a total investment of Rs 362.5 m. Maruti's current capacity is 12 lakh units per year. With the two new units, this capacity would go up to 17 lakh units per year. The units are expected to be operational by 2012-13. The management has stated that it is discussing plans to set up a 7th plant as well. However, the management has stated that the plans for the new plant would largely depend on how the existing capacities, both new and old are utilized. Further addition would be made only if it is found to be necessary.
FMCG stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Dabur, Colgate and Godrej Consumer trading firmly in the green, while ITC is trading in the red. FMCG firm Dabur is making a foray into the hand sanitiser market under its 'Fem Care' brand. The hand sanitiser market is estimated to be worth about Rs 200 m with players like Reckitt Benckiser and Hindustan Unilever (HUL) currently commanding a substantial market share. Dabur expects to have a double digit market share within the next three years. The company's target customers are mothers and school kids. It is creating awareness about hand sanitisers through schools and promotional activities. It aims to leverage its strong distribution network. The company has recently acquired the beauty and skincare brand 'Fem care'. Through the launch of the new product, it has extended the brand into the hand sanitiser market.