Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with Indonesia (down 0.5%), China (down 0.5%) and Japan (down 0.2%) leading the losses. However, markets in Taiwan (up 0.6%) and South Korea (up 0.4%) are trading firm. The Indian share markets indices have opened the day on a firm note with stocks in the auto and banking space leading the gains. However, oil and gas and information technology stocks are trading weak.
The Sensex today is up by around 23 points (0.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 10 points (0.2%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.4% and 0.1% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 59.33 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Bajaj Auto, Maharashtra Scooters and Hero MotoCorp leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, auto maker Ashok Leyland is aiming to augment its focus on the defence business from both domestic and overseas markets. The Hinduja Group flagship firm has bid for five defence tenders. In one tender the company has made the bid along with engineering and construction giant Larsen & Toubro (L&T). In a few tenders, the company participated with five different global players for different applications. The sizes of the tenders have not been disclosed. It must be noted that Ashok Leyland is the largest private sector supplier for defence. Its defence business was adversely impacted during the financial year 2012-13 (FY13) due to cutbacks by the Government.
Mining stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation of India (MMTC), National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) and Sesa Goa Ltd leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, state-run coal mining giant Coal India Ltd (CIL) is likely to fail to achieve its production target for the 12th five year plan (2012-17). Owing to hurdles relating to land acquisition and regulatory clearances, several expansion projects of the mining firm have been stuck. For instance, seven expansion projects which would add 18 million tonne capacity over the next few years have not made much progress. However, the company will try to make up for the production loss by increasing production from existing mines. The company aims to produce a coal output of 482 million tonnes in 2013-14 and 615 million tonnes by 2016-17. It must be noted that any shortfall in supply from CIL would adversely affect coal-fired power plants.