Barring China (down 0.4%), most major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a positive note with stock markets in South Korea (up 0.5%) and Japan (up 2.1%) leading the gains. The Indian share markets have opened the day on a firm note. Barring software, all sectoral indices have opened in the green with stocks in the consumer durables and capital goods sector leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 70 points (0.2%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 28 points (0.5%). Mid and small cap stocks have also opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.4% and 0.5% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.01 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day mainly in the green with Hero Motocorp Ltd and Tube Investments Ltd leading the gains. However, Force Motors and Maharashtra Scooters Ltd were facing selling pressure. Ever since petrol prices were deregulated, the price difference between diesel and petrol had grown substantially. A year ago, petrol prices were higher by Rs 32 per litre over diesel prices. This had led to a substantial demand for diesel cars over petrol variants. While two years ago, diesel cars commanded a share of 32%, the same has now shot up to 58%. In recent months, the government has been gradually increasing diesel prices to correct the skewed pricing system. As a result, the gap between petrol and diesel prices has nearly halved in the last one year. The price difference between the two fuels is currently Rs 17.5 per litre. However, automobile makers are of the opinion that diesel cars will continue to dominate the market. Several auto companies such as Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai and Ford India are setting up new diesel engine capacities. The share of diesel cars is expected to go over 60% in the next two years.
Power stocks have also opened the day mainly in the green with KSK Energy Ltd and Indiabulls Power Ltd leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, Tata Power is planning to set up a 28.8 megawatt (MW) solar power project in Maharashtra during the ongoing financial year 2013-14 (FY14). For the project, the company will invest over Rs 2.3 bn during the current fiscal. This new plant near Satara will be Tata Power's second solar project in Maharashtra. The company has set a power generation capacity target of 26,000 MW by 2020. Of this, it aims to have about 20-25% from clean energy sources. The new project in Maharashtra is part of the company's strategy to achieve its clean energy capacity target. In addition, the company will also be adding 200 MW of wind energy in the current fiscal.