The Indian markets have started today’s session on a positive note. The benchmark indices opened at the breakeven mark, but soon surged in to the positive territory. They have easily managed to hold on to their gains since then. Other key Asian markets are in the green with Japan (up 2.8%) leading the pack of gainers. The US markets closed higher by 2.8% yesterday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading strong with metal and software majors finding investors favour. The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 200 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 60 points. Buying interest is also being witnessed among mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 1% and 1.2% respectively. The rupee is trading at 46.84 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Escorts and TVS Motor. As per a leading business daily, Bajaj Auto has indicated that it plans to generate 70% of its sales from overseas markets, challenging global giant Honda Motors in Latin America, Asia and Africa. The company also aims to roughly triple its global market share to 30%. It plans to use partnerships with KTM Power Sports and Kawasaki Heavy Industries for the purpose. Alternatively, it will build new networks to win market share from Honda and Chinese rivals. It may be noted that Bajaj Auto earned about 30% of its sales overseas last year. It sold a record 2.8 m vehicles in FY10 and is targeting sales of 5 m units by FY12. In comparison, Honda Motors sold 9.6 m motorcycles in FY10, including sales at Hero Honda.
Energy stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Indraprastha Gas and Cairn India. As per a leading business daily, the oil marketing companies i.e., Indian Oil, BPCL and HPCL hope to work out the rules for setting market driven prices of fuels across India by mid-July. Among other things, the rules will set the periodicity of revising the retail prices and arrangements to buy fuel from other refiners. It may be noted that these companies have recently been given the freedom to set the retail prices of petrol. Diesel prices have also been raised and will eventually be made market-determined. The prices of kitchen fuels - kerosene and LPG - have also been raised although they will not be made market determined. The fuel price hike has kicked off a political storm with the opposition parties organizing a nation wide agitation. But in our view, the biggest challenge for the government will be a rise in international crude oil price. It remains to be seen the government will start regulating fuel prices again if that happens.