The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in South Korea (up 1.1%) and Hong Kong (up 0.7%) leading the gains. However, the stock markets in Singapore (down 0.1%) and Indonesia (down 0.2%) have opened in the red.
FMCG stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Marico Ltd and Colgate Ltd leading the gains. However, Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) and Pidilite Industries were facing selling pressure. The leading FMCG company Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) has announced its first quarter results for financial year 2014-2015 (1QFY15). The company has reported 13% year on year (YoY) growth in sales on underlying volume growth of 6%. The Home & Personal Care and Food businesses grew by 13% YoY each during the quarter. The operating margin expanded by 1.1% backed by lower ad-spends and staff costs (both as a proportion of sales). However, the bottomline grew by a muted 4% YoY on account of lower extraordinary income earned from the sale of properties as compared to the year-ago quarter. Excluding the impact of extraordinary items, profit has grown by 11% YoY but net margin remained flat.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Hero Motocorp Ltd and Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd leading the gains. However, Escorts Ltd and Maharashtra Scooters Ltd were facing selling pressure. As per a leading financial daily, the government plans to enforce stricter engine norms for manufacturers of buses and trucks that consume over 37% of total diesel sold in the country. The move aims to restrict usage of the scarce fuel and to reduce vehicular pollution. The enforcement of the norms is expected by January 2016. The new norms are likely to improve engine efficiency to get better mileage per litre of diesel. The government has formed a committee under the chairmanship of Oil Ministry's Additional Secretary Rajiv Kumar to ensure that the diesel conservation move is implemented in a time bound manner.