Asian stock markets have opened the day deep in red. Markets in Korea (down 1.4%), Taiwan (down 1.3%) and Hong Kong (down 1.1%) are leading the losses in the region. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a negative note as well. Stocks in the energy stocks and realty sectors are witnessing maximum losses.
The BSE-Sensex is down by around 25 points (0.2%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 13 points (0.3%). 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 0.2% each. The rupee is trading at Rs 53.45 to the US dollar.
Mining stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation (MMTC) and Ashapura Minechem trading in the red while Gujarat NRE Coke and Sesa Goa Ltd are trading in the green. As per a leading financial daily, the Government has asked Coal India Ltd. (CIL) to supply coal to all power plants within the current fiscal irrespective of signing of legally binding fuel supply agreements (FSA). The directive will be positive for power plants of companies like National Thermal Power Corporation, CLP India and Reliance Power that started operations before March and the ones that will be commissioning their units this fiscal. Unlike legally binding FSAs, this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be like a short term contract for coal supply for such plants. They will be effective till the FSAs for these plants are signed. The quantity of the coal supplied will be decided by CIL in consultation with Central Electricity Authority (CEA).
Auto stocks have opened the day on a mixed note as well. On one hand, stocks of Hero Motocorp and Tata Motors are witnessing buying interest. On the other hand stocks of Maruti Suzuki and Ashok Leyland are witnessing selling pressure. Higher interest rates, spiraling fuel prices and the hike in excise duty seem to have taken a toll on the sale of passenger cars in the country. For the month of April 2012, passenger car sales grew by a mere 3.4% YoY. Unfortunately most of the car manufacturers are not seeing any signs of a turnaround in May either. Though interest rates have started showing signs of easing, other factors like fuel prices still continue to haunt buyers. However, due to the price differential between petrol and diesel prices, the demand for diesel powered vehicles continues to remain healthy. The sales of the Ertiga model of Maruti Suzuki helped drive the sales of utility vehicles during the month. The segment witnessed a growth of 47.3% YoY.