Asian stock markets have opened the day on a negative note. Markets in Hong Kong (down 0.6%), China (down 0.4%) and South Korea (down 0.4%) are leading the losses in the region. However, markets in Japan (up 0.3%) are witnessing buying interest. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a negative note as well. Stocks in the auto and realty sectors are witnessing maximum losses.
The BSE-Sensex is down by around 98 points (0.6%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 32 points (0.6%). Mid and small cap stocks are trading in the red as well with the BSE Mid cap and BSE Small cap indices down by around 0.3% and 0.2% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 53.22 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day in the red with Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto Ltd and Maruti Suzuki leading the pack of losers. India's second largest two wheeler manufacturer Bajaj Auto Ltd has posted its sales number for the month of March 2012. The company has reported a sale of 381,590 units which is approximately 3.9% YoY higher than the 367,309 units sold during the same period last year. The sales were driven by the motor cycles unit which recorded a growth of 6% YoY. However, commercial vehicles played spoil sport on the total sales number. The sales of commercial vehicles recorded a decline of 13% YoY to 39,266 units. Exports during the month rose by 7% YoY to 169,010 units. The company hopes to outpace the overall industry during the financial year 2012-2013. This would be on the back of new launches that it plans to release in the coming months.
Power stocks have opened the day on a negative as well. Barring National Hydro Power Corporation Ltd, all power stocks are trading in the red led by Tata Power and GVK Power and Infra. As per a leading financial daily, the power ministry will allow a hike in tariffs for new projects in case of an increase in fuel costs. The ministry will also not oppose an increase in domestic gas prices. The move will help new power projects such as the next set of ultra mega power plants (UMPPs) and gas-fired electricity plants that have capacity above 7,000 MW (Megawatt) that have been built but are lying idle because of shortage of fuel. The move will be beneficial for private power producers that are expected to add 60% of the new capacity as per the next five year plan. It allays concerns over uncertainty over fuels and tariffs and will bring them relief.