Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note. Stock markets in Taiwan (up 1%), Singapore (up 0.4%) and Indonesia (up 0.4%) are leading the gains. However, markets in China (down 0.2%) and Hong Kong (down 0.2%) are trading in the red. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note. Stocks in the metal and power space are leading the pack of gainers. However, consumer durable stocks, realty and healthcare stocks are trading weak.
The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 53 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 14 points (0.3%). Midcap and smallcap stocks are trading in the positive as well with both the BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices up by 0.4% each. The rupee is trading at 44.97 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Mahindra & Mahindra, Bajaj Auto and Ashok Leyland trading firm. However, Tata Motors is trading weak. India's largest passenger car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki, is planning to set up a car manufacturing unit in Gujarat. This could entail an investment of about Rs 180 bn by Maruti Suzuki and its vendors. If the plan goes through, it would be Maruti's first factory outside Haryana. The company plans to add capacity in a phased manner starting first with 1 m units. This would take about 5 years to install. Following that, if the outlook for vehicle demand is positive and there is scope for further expansion, the company would add capacity of additional 1 m units. As per industry forecasts, the auto industry in India is poised to reach annual capacity of 4.5- 5 m units by 2013-14.
Oil and Gas stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Oil India and GAIL trading firm. However, Bharat Petroleum (BPCL), Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) and Indian Oil Corp (IOC) are trading in the red. After the announcement of the results, IOC, India's biggest refinery, said that it may raise petrol rates again by Rs 1.35 per litre. This is because the fuel is still sold below the current market rates. Refining companies like IOC can set prices of all fuels except diesel and kerosene. But the company could not raise the petrol price by as much as it wanted due to political pressure. As a result, the company's net profit for the 4QFY11 fell by around 30% YoY to Rs 3.9 bn after considering all the government subsidy payments.
On another note, the empowered group of ministers (EGOM) is scheduled to meet on 9th June, 2011 to consider the diesel price increase. IOC is currently making a loss of around Rs 13 per litre of diesel.