Asian stock markets have opened the week on a mixed note. Benchmark indices in Hong Kong, Indonesia and Japan are all trading in the green and are up by about 0.4% each. However, markets in Malaysia and Korea are trading in the red and are down by about 0.6% each. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a flat note. Stocks in the realty and metal space are the main gainers. However, energy and banking stocks are witnessing selling pressure.
The BSE-Sensex is marginally higher by around 4 points (0.02%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 10 points (0.2%). Midcap and small cap stocks are trading in the positive, with the BSE Midcap and the BSE Small cap indices up by about 0.4% and 0.5% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.57 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Mahindra & Mahindra and Maruti Suzuki trading in the red. On the other hand, stocks of Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland are trading in the green. Two-wheeler auto majors are all offering various freebies to woo customers back. Dealers of companies like Honda Motorcycles are offering cash benefits as well as lower interest rates with a view to try and boost sales. Dealers of TVS Motors are offering free insurance as well as road tax benefits to their customers. On the other hand, companies like Bajaj Auto have stated that they do not see any reason to offer additional benefits. This is due to the fact that two-wheeler markets is still growing at a robust pace. However, the company is still offering 0% interest rates on its entry level motorcycle. The two-wheeler market is more likely to be impact by the higher interest rates as compared to the four-wheeler market. This is because of the fact that interest rates for two-wheeler loans are much higher as compare to the loans for four-wheelers.
Energy stocks have opened the day on negative note with HPCL (Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd), BPCL (Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd.) and ONGC leading the losses. Oil marketing major Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has warned the government against putting a control on Reliance Industries' (RIL) offshore field in Andhra Pradesh. IOC has told the government that exercising any control on RIL's output in the said field may create a shortage of diesel in the country. This in turn would lead to increased imports for the fuel. The oil ministry has asked RIL to cut down the supply of gas to non-core industries like refineries, petrochemicals and steel. The order was effective from May this year. IOC has stated that the cut in gas supply would force the company to use nearly 200,000 tonnes of diesel for its Gujarat refinery. This would result in a significant reduction in the supply of the fuel to the market.