All major Asian equity markets have opened the day on a firm note with markets in Korea (up 2.1%), Japan (up 1.9%) and Taiwan (up 1.9%) leading the gains in the region. The Indian equity market indices have also opened the day on a positive note. Stocks in the realty and metal space are leading the pack of gainers.
The Sensex today is up by around 146 points (0.9%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 42 points (0.8%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid cap and BSE Small cap indices up by around 0.8% and 0.9% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 55.42 to the US dollar.
Information Technology stocks have opened the day on a firm note with NIIT Ltd, CMC Ltd and Tech Mahindra leading the pack of gainers. On account of slowdown in the business, Bangalore-based IT firm Infosys has delayed the joining dates of engineers hired from campuses. The joining dates of about 28,000 engineering graduates who were offered jobs from campus placements in August-September 2011 range anywhere from September 2012 to July 2013. Even the existing 1.5 lakh staff has had to bear the brunt of the slowdown with freezing of salaries and cuts in variable pay. The company has been struggling to match the growth rate of its peers. In the quarter ended March 2012, the company's topline dropped by 2% from the preceding quarter. For the full financial year, the company expects to register a growth of 8-10% year-on-year. This is much lower than the 11-14% growth forecast by industry body Nasscom (National Association of Software and Services Companies).
Oil & gas stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Gujarat Gas Company Ltd leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, the gas sector regulator Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) may consider cancelling the third round of auctioning of city gas distribution (CGD) rights. This is on account of the unrealistic bids it has received. The third round was held in July 2010 and resulted in 51 bids from 26 companies. This included bids from Indian Oil Corporation, Adani Energy, GAIL gas, Engineers India Ltd and Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation. The Regulator is acting on the request of IOC, GAIL and Indraprastha Gas Ltd. (IGL) that have alleged that the bidders were keeping input costs irrationally low to keep overall capital costs competitive and score more in the bidding process. The areas included in the third round are Asansol-Durgapur, Gujrat's Bhavnagar and Jamnagar districts, Kutch (east and west), Ludhiana and Jalandhar (Punjab). As per some industry sources, the Board may come up with new bidding parameters in which it would prepare its own detailed feasibility report for a city, unlike in earlier system when each firm participating in the bidding prepared its own report.