The Indian markets have started today's session on a volatile note. The benchmark indices opened at the breakeven mark, slid into the negative but soon moved into the positive territory. However, they have not managed to hold on to their gains since then. Other key Asian markets are in the green with Japan (up 0.4%) leading the pack of gainers. The US markets closed lower by 0.5% last Friday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading weak with oil & gas majors bearing the brunt of selling activity. The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by around 7 points, while the NSE-Nifty is down by about 3 points. However, buying interest is being witnessed among mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 0.4% and 0.3% respectively. The rupee is trading at 46.8 to the US dollar.
FMCG stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Dabur and Marico. As per a leading business daily, Marico is streamlining its Kaya Skin Clinic outlets in India to cut losses. Five clinics have been relocated and one clinic closed with effect from June 30. As part of the streamlining, some clinics have relocated to more prime localities in New Delhi and Mumbai. The company has 101 clinics - 87 in India, 13 in the Middle East and 1 in Bangladesh. Kaya Skin Clinic, which started in 2002, had seen good business in the first few years, but began suffering when the financial downturn hit India. This is because of the discretionary nature of dermatalogical services. The company does not expect its beauty services arm to break even till FY12. In fact, in 4QFY10 Kaya Skin Clinic had incurred a loss of Rs 53 m on a revenue base of Rs 450 m. Marico is now stressing on building revenue at its existing stores by retaining its current customers, which is about 600,000, while adding new ones.
Power stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Reliance Power and Tata Power. As per a leading business daily, Reliance Power is likely to apply to the government for allocation of natural gas from Reliance Industries' KG basin. The reasoning being that it meets the eligibility criteria as an end-user after merging Reliance Natural Resources with itself. It may be noted that according to the government's gas utilisation policy, natural gas can be allocated only to an end-user and traders like Reliance Natural Resources are barred. Moreover, the gas utilisation policy provides allocations for existing plants and does not allow blocking of natural gas for future plants.
However, an empowered group of ministers may meet as early as this month to decide if exceptions to the latter rule can be made for Reliance Power.