Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note. Stock markets in South Korea (up 1.5%), Indonesia (up 0.1%), Hong Kong (up 0.2%), China (up 0.1%) and Japan (up 0.1%) are trading in the green. The Indian stock markets have also opened the day on a firm note. Stocks in the capital goods and banking space are leading the gainers. However, stocks in the auto sector are trading marginally in the red.
The BSE-Sensex is trading up by 60 points (0.3%) and the NSE-Nifty is up by around 18 points (0.3%). Both midcap and small cap stocks are in favour, with the BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices marginally up by 0.4% and 0.3% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.84 to the US dollar.
Telecom stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Reliance Communication and Idea Cellular trading in the green. Cellular service provider, Idea Cellular reported an increase of 3% in its net profit to Rs 2.7 bn for the quarter ended March 31 as compared to Rs 2.6 bn in same quarter of the previous year. This was even after the subscriber base for the company growing by more than 40% for the year. The minutes of usage (MoU) also jumped 49 per cent. The total subscriber base at the end of March 2011 stood at 89.5 m. At the end of FY11, Idea was the third largest wireless operator in India with a revenue market share of 13.6%.
Oil & gas stocks have opened the day on a firm note with ONGC and Oil India trading in the green. GAIL India is reportedly planning an overseas purchase which could comprise shale gas assets in the US and Australia. The state-run gas utility is set to make a non-binding bid for acquiring 20% interest in the shale gas assets owned by a US company. The deal is estimated to cost around US$400-500 m. The company's board has approved the bid. It has formed a committee of directors in charge of business development and finance to negotiate the deal with the seller. The acquisition is expected to give GAIL the competence to bid for shale gas assets in India in the future. The company is looking forward to spend about US$2 bn on acquisitions. Apart from Reliance Industries (RIL), GAIL is the only company that is acquiring equity in US shale gas assets.