Most major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note with markets in Hong Kong (down 0.7%), and Singapore (down 0.3%) leading the losses in the region. However, markets in Japan (up 0.3%) are trading in the green. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a weak note. Stocks in the metal, banking and auto space are leading the pack of losers. However, FMCG and realty stocks are trading firm.
The Sensex today is down by around 44 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 15 points (0.3%). However, mid and small cap stocks are trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.1% each. The rupee is trading at Rs 55.66 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Tata Motors, Hero MotoCorp and Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) leading the losses. Tata Motors has announced its sales figures for the month of July 2012. During the month, the company's total sales were higher by 15% compared to the numbers of the corresponding month of the previous financial year. The total vehicles sales during the month stood at 74,159 units. Domestic sales of commercial vehicles rose by 4% year-on-year (YoY) to 42,387 units. While sales of light commercial vehicles grew by 19% YoY to 24,962 units, sales of medium and heavy vehicles dipped by 19% YoY to 12,786. Passenger vehicle sales rose sharply by 53% YoY 26,240 units during the month. Sales of cars such as Nano (5,485 units), Indica (8,852 units) and Indigo (6,816 units) were higher by 68% YoY, 51% YoY and 40% YoY, respectively. However, the company's exports declined by 15% YoY to 5,532 units during the month.
PSU bank stocks have also opened the day on a weak note with State Bank of India (SBI), Canara Bank and Punjab National Bank (PNB) trading in the red. As per a leading financial daily, leading public sector bank, SBI has slashed its interest rates on home loans by as much as 60 basis points (0.6%). The rate cut will make housing loans from SBI cheaper than other banks. Besides, the bank has brought the interest rate on auto loans down by 50 basis points (0.5%). However, the bank has not yet said anything regarding a cut in the base rate which means that the existing borrowers will not be able to avail the benefits of the rate cuts. The move is expected to increase SBI's share in the retail loan segment and could be followed by the other banks. The decision to cut rates was taken at a meeting of its asset-liability committee (Alco) and follows Reserve Bank of India's decision to slash the statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) by 100 basis points to 23% at its first quarter review of the monetary policy.