The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in Japan (up 0.9%) and Hong Kong (up 0.7%) leading the gains. However, stock markets in Singapore (down 0.2%) and Korea (down 0.1%) have opened in the red. The Indian share markets have opened the day on a positive note. The sectoral indices have opened mixed with the stocks in the metal and capital goods sector leading the gains. However, stocks in the banking and FMCG sector were witnessing losses.
The HSBC Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) has been released for the month of May and suggests an expansion in the Indian factory activity at a slightly faster pace. Also, as per a business survey, the input prices rose at their slowest rate in over a year. The HSBC PMI for the month of May stood at 51.4, as compared to 51.3 in April 2014. A figure above 50 indicates monthly expansion. As per the chief economist at HSBC, the momentum in the manufacturing sector improved on account of higher domestic and export order flows. The new orders sub-index that includes domestic demand and orders from abroad, rose to 53.2 in May, a three-month high. A rise in the new orders index is likely to be followed by better output in coming months. It is important to note here that manufacturing output in India accounts for 16% of the overall economy.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Eicher Motors Ltd and TVS Motors Ltd leading the gains. However, Tube Investments Ltd and Ashok Leyland Ltd have opened in the red. As per the data available with the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), the automobile industry seems to be on the path of recovery with the new Government taking charge at the centre. As per the data, eight of the country's leading passenger vehicle makers reported sales growth of 7.4 % in May. The country's largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki Ltd posted sales volume growth of 16.4% YoY in May, as compared to a 12.6% YoY decline in the month of April 2014. For some of the manufacturers such as Hyundai, Honda and Ford, new launches boosted the volumes. However, for domestic manufacturers such as Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra, the demand remained weak. Tata Motors' sales volumes dropped 17 % YoY while Mahindra & Mahindra's sales volumes decreased by around 19 % YoY. Going forward, the industry expects better times ahead with the support of a business friendly Government.