The Indian markets have started today's session on a positive note. The benchmark indices opened below the breakeven mark but quickly moved into the positive. They have managed to stay in the green since then. Other key Asian markets are trading in the red with Hong Kong (down 0.7%) leading the pack of losers. The US markets closed higher by 0.1% yesterday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading strong with software and banking majors finding investors' favour. The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 90 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 25 points. Buying interest is also being witnessed among mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 0.6% and 0.8% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.52 to the US dollar.
Engineering stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Ingersoll Rand and Bharat Bijlee. As per a leading business daily, L&T plans to realign its electrical and electronics business division (EBG) with L&T Power, its wholly owned subsidiary in power equipment manufacturing. The EBG division offers solutions for the power sector in low and medium voltage categories. It recorded sales of Rs 26 bn in FY09. It had an order book of Rs 27 bn at the end of FY09. L&T Power plans to increase its existing manufacturing capacity of steam turbine generators and boiler-turbines-generators from the current 4,000 MW (megawatt) to 6,000 MW in two years. The move aims at bringing more synergy within the L&T group. It will help leverage the company's internal strengths in the power sector. It may be noted that L&T had recently reorganised its business under vertical divisions in order to spur growth. These divisions, termed 'operating companies', have their own internal boards.
Cement stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Shree Cement and Prism Cement. ACC announced its 1QCY10 results yesterday. On a standalone basis, the company reported a topline growth of merely 2.3% YoY led by higher cement prices. Non-availability of wagons resulted in lower dispatches for the company. Operating profits declined by 3.9% YoY, as cost of operation grew at a faster pace as compared to growth in sales. However, net profit posted a growth led by 20% YoY jump in other income. During the quarter, the company has acquired 100% stake in Encore Cement & Additives Pvt. Ltd. This company is engaged in manufacturing and supply of ground slag. ACC also acquired 45% stake in Asian Concretes and Cements Pvt. Ltd for a consideration of Rs 3.7 bn. In our view, the upcoming capacities are expected to exert downward pressure on cement prices, apart from resulting in lower utilisation levels.