Asian stock markets finished broadly lower today with shares in China leading the region. The Shanghai Composite was down 1.11%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was off 0.87% and Japan's Nikkei 225 was lower by 0.18%. European shares were steady in early trade. The rupee was trading at 63.96 against the US$ in the post noon session.
Majority of the telecom stocks were trading in the green. Himachal Futuristic and ITI Ltd were among the leading gainers. According to a leading financial daily, Bharti Airtel is reportedly planning to open 1,000 more stores by December to provide customers first-hand experience about 4G service. The company wants to increase its 4G presence to touch at least 100 cities by the end of 2015, while continuing to offer the service at 3G prices for the foreseeable future to make the most of its first mover advantage ahead of launches by serious rivals. Recently, the company had launched 4G trials exclusively for its customers in Shillong (Meghalaya). With this launch, the company now offers 4G in 45 cities in India. The company first launched its 4G services in Kolkata in April 2012. Furthermore, the company is in advanced talks with handsets makers such as Samsung, ZTE, Huawei and Xiaomi to launch 4G devices, with price starting from Rs 4,000 later this year.
Automobile stocks were in demand today with Bharat Forge and Maruti Suzuki being the biggest winners. Shares of Hero Motocorp were up 0.9% despite reporting 8% fall in July sales. The company clocked 487,580 units of two-wheelers in dispatch sales in the month of July 2015, down by 8% compared to 529,862 units sold in the corresponding month last year. The retail sales of the company continue to be better than dispatches. The company has recently introduced two new motorcycles - the 150cc Xtreme Sports and 100cc Passion PRO, both of which have received very positive response from customers across the country. Further, the company is also gearing up to launch more new products in the months leading up to the festive season.