The Indian markets have started today's session on an extremely weak note. The benchmark indices are currently deep into the red. Other key Asian markets are trading in the red with China (down 2.7%) leading the pack of losers. The US markets closed lower by 1.1% last Friday on the news of the SEC suit on Goldman Sachs.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading weak with construction and metal majors bearing the brunt of selling activity. The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by around 180 points, while the NSE-Nifty is down by about 60 points. Selling is also being witnessed among mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading lower by 1.2% each. The rupee is trading at 44.6 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a negative note. Losers here include Escorts and TVS Motor. As per a leading business daily, M&M is eyeing a double-digit growth for its two-wheeler business in the next two years. The company took over the two-wheeler business of Kinetic Motor in 2008. Since then, it has launched three 125 cc scooters - Rodeo, Duro, and Flyte. The company has a production capacity of 500,000 to 600,000 units per year. It has a market share of 8% in the two-wheeler industry. The company has 350 dealers across India and plans to add 50 more this year especially in the small towns. It also plans to step up its exports, which is currently limited to Bangladesh, Nepal and South Asia. In our view, the scooter segment could be a surprise story at a time when most large two-wheeler players are focusing on motorcycles.
Energy stocks have opened on a negative note. Losers here include Castrol and Cairn India. As per a leading business daily, Chennai Petroleum has stalled its plans to build a new 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery at Ennore, Tamil Nadu. It has not received environmental clearance from the government for the site. In fact, Cuddalore has been proposed as an alternative site. The company is going ahead with the expansion of its existing 210,000 bpd refinery at Manali, Tamil Nadu. It also plans to improve the refinery's ability to process sour crude from 70% currently to 85% by FY14. The company has a capex plan of around Rs 15 bn for FY11 as compared with Rs 10 bn in FY10. It may be noted the profitability of standalone refiners depends on global spreads between crude oil and various petroleum products.