Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note. Stock markets in Indonesia (up 0.1%), Japan (up 0.4%) and China (up 0.1%) are trading in the green, while those in Hong Kong (down 0.3%) and South Korea (down 0.5%) and are trading in the red. The Indian stock markets have opened the day in the red. Except for consumer durables, all major sectoral indices are down. Stocks in the technology and auto sectors are leading the losses.
The BSE-Sensex is trading down by 126 points (0.7%) and the NSE-Nifty is down by around 41 points (0.7%). Midcap and small cap stocks are trading in the red as well, with the BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices down by 0.31% each. The rupee is trading at 44.49 to the US dollar.
Engineering stocks have opened the day in the red with Praj Industries and Lakshmi Machinery leading the losses. Construction major Larsen & Toubro's (L&T) construction division is set for the next level of growth. It is now moving towards doubling its turnover in the next four years. The company is trying to take advantage of its size and technology content by taking on more complicated and bigger projects. This should result in better margins and therefore better returns. According to head of this business, the next phase will be about "innovative profitable growth". The construction division contributes almost half of L&T's turnover. This division has been restructured into four companies - buildings & factories, infrastructure, metallurgical and mineral handling, and power transmission and distribution.
Steel stocks have opened the day in the red as well with Bhushan Steel and Jindal Steel leading the losers' pack. New steel minister, Mr Beni Prasad Verma, has expressed his displeasure over the slow progress of modernization of PSE steel major, SAIL (Steel Authority of India Ltd). The modernization was started in the financial year 2008. Steel Minister said that SAIL needs to step up its production immediately. The modernization once completed would result in the capacity of 24 metric tons per annum. The cost of modernization is estimated to be Rs 720 bn. Minister also added that two blast furnaces in Rourkela will be commissioned by January 2012.