All major Asian stock markets have opened the day on strong note. Stock markets in South Korea (up 1.8%), Taiwan (up 1.6%), Japan (up 1.4%) and Hong Kong (up 0.9%) are leading the pack of gainers. Following the positive cue, http://www.equitymaster.com/tm Indian stock markets have started the day on a strong note. Stocks from the IT (Information Technology), realty, metals and banking space are leading the gains.
The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 202 points (1.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 63 points (1.1%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading firm, with both the BSE Midcap index and BSE Small cap index up by 1% and 0.8% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.34 to the US dollar.
IT stocks have opened the day in the green with TCS, Tech Mahindra and Wipro trading firm. The stock of HCL Tech is the leading gainer as of now (up 7.1%). HCL Tech has declared its 3rd quarter results (the company has a June year ending). The company witnessed a 6% QoQ growth in its revenues. This was on the back of a 5% QoQ growth in software services and an 8% QoQ growth in infrastructure services. The BPO segment witnessed a muted growth of 0.4% QoQ. The company's operating margins improved to 17.3% as compared to the 16.3% in the previous quarter (December 2010). Net profits grew by 16% QoQ during the quarter. The company has announced an interim dividend of Rs 2 per share. The company has added 58 new clients during the quarter. Attrition rates improved marginally to 17% as compared to 17.2% in the previous quarter (December 2010).
Bank stocks have opened the day on a strong note with SBI, Andhra Bank, Allahabad Bank and IDBI Bank trading in the green with significant gains. SBI, the country's largest PSU bank, has raised its two key lending rates by 25 basis points (0.25%) each. This has taken the base rate and the benchmark prime lending rate to 8.5% and 13.25% respectively. Both these lending rates are used as reference points to set rates on all types of loans. The rate hikes will be effective from 25 April, 2011.
SBI is the first bank to have raised its rates after the RBI hiked its key policy rates by 25 basis points each in March 2011. In the past 12 months, the RBI has hiked rates 8 times to fight the rising inflation. SBI had previously raised its benchmark rates by 25 basis points in February 2011.