The Indian markets have started today's session on a positive note. The benchmark indices opened above the breakeven mark and soon moved further into the positive. These have managed to hold on to their gains since then. Other key Asian markets are trading strong with Japan (up 1.4%) leading the pack of gainers. The US markets closed higher by 1.1% yesterday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading strong with construction majors finding investors' favour. The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 85 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 20 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 1.2% and 1.1% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.45 to the US dollar.
Upstream energy stocks have opened the day on a negative note. Losers here include Reliance Industries and ONGC. As per a leading business daily, Reliance Industries plans to leverage its new partnership with Atlas Energy to enter the retail gas segment in the US. It plans to cater to consumers in New York and Virginia on the back of Atlas' existing pipeline network. It may be noted that the retail market for gas in the US is among the most competitive in the world. It is dominated by global giants like Exxon-Mobil and BP who have a strong brand name and in-place infrastructure. Currently, Reliance Industries' refined petroleum products cater to the US market. But that is in the bulk segment and not the retail space. If the Indian energy giant can establish a retail presence in the US, it will provide an outlet for its stake in Atlas' Marcellus shale gas fields. Moreover, it will provide a new dimension to Reliance Industries' increasingly global footprint.
Ultratech announced its FY10 results yesterday. The company reported a topline growth of 10% YoY during the year driven by strong demand for cement. Costs grew at a slower pace in comparison to revenues. This led to a 1.3% rise in operating margins. Net profits grew by 12% YoY, on the back of 16% YoY growth in operating profits. The company will acquire ETA Star Cement Company LLC, Dubai together with its cement operations in United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Bangladesh. The enterprise value of these assets is Rs 17 bn. Ultratech also plans to merge Samruddhi Cement with itself.