All major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note with stock markets in Hong Kong (down 2.6%), South Korea (down 2.2%) and Taiwan (down 2.2%) leading with significant losses in the region. The Indian share market indices have also opened the day on a weak note. Stocks in the auto, metal and realty space are leading the pack of losers.
The Sensex today is down by around 145 points (0.8%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 43 points (0.8%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the red as well with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices down by around 0.7% and 0.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 55.62 to the US dollar.
Cement stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with India Cement and Prism Cement trading in the red. However, Heidelberg Cement and Mangalam Cement are trading firm. Leading cement player UltraTech Cement has announced its financial results for the quarter ended June 2012 (1QFY13). During the quarter, the company witnessed 16.6% year-on-year (YoY) increase in the topline. The growth was driven by 4.9% YoY increase in sales while the remaining came from improvement in cement realisations. Operating profit margin declined from 27.3% in 1QFY12 to 25.5% in 1QFY13 on account of high raw material and energy costs. While other income rose by 32.3% YoY, interest costs declined by 30% YoY. At the bottomline level, profits rose by 13.9% YoY. Net margins declined marginally from 15.7% in 1QFY12 to 15.3% in 1QFY13.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Maruti Suzuki, Maharashtra Scooters and Tata Motors leading the pack of losers. Following the recent violent scuffle between the management and the workers of India's leading passenger vehicle manufacturer Maruti Suzuki, the company has decided to employ regular or permanent workers in all core areas of manufacturing. It plans to implement this across all its five factories in Gurgaon and Manesar by March 2013. It also plans to change the entire recruitment process. So far, in order to meet the cyclical demand of the car industry, the company has been taking a large number of workers from contractors on a casual basis. For instance, during festive months such as September and October production is raised to meet the increased demand. However, now the company plans to channelise the entire recruitment process through its own human resource (HR) department.