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Markets open on a weak note
Mon, 2 May 09:30 am

Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note. Stock markets in Japan (up 1.6%), China (up 0.9%) and South Korea (down 1.4%) are trading firm. However, markets in Hong Kong (down 0.4%) and Taiwan (down 0.4%) are trading in the red. Indian stock markets have also started the day in the red. Among the stocks that are pulling the markets down are Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Jindal Power and Steel. Stocks from the capital goods and banking space are leading the losses. However, consumer durables and technology stocks are trading firm.

The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by around 56 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 19 points (0.3%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading weak with both the BSE Midcap index and BSE Small cap index down by 0.2% and 0.1% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.26 to the US dollar.

IT stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Infosys, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and HCL Technologies trading in the green. However, Tech Mahindra and Patni Computer are facing selling pressure. Infosys has appointed K V Kamath as chairman in place of its founder N R Narayana Murthy. S D Shibulal who is currently the chief operating officer will succeed S Gopalakrishnan as CEO in August 2011. In turn, Gopalakrishnan will become the executive co-chairman. Kamath, who has earlier led the largest Indian private sector lender ICICI Bank, will now prepare a succession plan for the eventual exits of all founders. He will play a key role in the process of identifying and grooming the right talent to fill important positions either on the board of directors or on the management council.

Current CEO S Gopalakrishnan has said that Infosys is looking for acquisitions in Europe and Japan in areas including healthcare and public services. It is also pursuing acquisitions in new areas such as cloud computing. It could acquire companies with annual revenues of up to US$ 600 m. The company had cash and cash equivalents of US$ 3.8 bn as of 31st March 2011.

Auto stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Ashok Leyland, Cummins India and Hero Honda leading the losses. Tata Motors has witnessed a 13%YoY increase in its car sales volumes during the April month of this year. The company has sold 64,383 units as compared to 57,199 units sold during the same period last year. The growth was driven by the sale of Nano. The sales of Nano increased by a whopping 184% during the month to touch 10,012 units. However, this is still lower than the company's 2011 target of selling 15,000 units per month. Tata Motors has recorded a 19% YoY increase in its commercial vehicle segment during the month. This was driven by a 28% YoY increase in the sales of the light commercial vehicles and a 6% YoY increase in medium and heavy commercial vehicles. Exports are up by 36% YoY during the month.

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