Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note. Stock markets in Hong Kong (up 0.8%), South Korea (up 0.2%), Singapore (up 0.5%) and Malaysia (up 0.2%) are trading in the green. However, markets in Taiwan (down 0.3%), Japan (down 1%) and Indonesia (down 0.2%) are facing selling pressure. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a positive note. Stocks in the oil & gas, FMCG and banking space are leading the gains. However, realty and auto stocks are trading weak.
The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 83 points (0.5%) and the NSE-Nifty is up by around 26 points (0.5%). Midcap and small cap stocks are trading in the green as well, with the BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices up by 0.2% and 0.1% respectively. The rupee is trading at 45.34 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Bajaj Auto leading the losses. Given the slowdown in automobile sales in the domestic market, auto companies such as Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki have recently cut down on production. Maruti has cut down production of most of its models by 5% for the month of August 2011. Maruti's car production for July 2011 had declined by 21% YoY to 72,587 units on account of non-production of Swift. Consequently, its domestic sales had dipped by 31% YoY to 52,483 units. During the same period, Tata Motors' car production had plunged by 27%YoY from 27,362 units in July 2010 to 19,985 units in July 2011. The company's domestic car sales had declined by 43% YoY to 13,997 units. Domestic passenger car sales had registered their first decline in July 2011 after 30 months of continuous growth. High interest rates and fuel prices were the main reasons for the decline. Car manufacturers are however, betting on new launches to restore the demand.
Telecom stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Bharti Airtel, Tata Teleservices and Idea Cellular in the red. Telecom major Bharti Airtel is being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for alleged foreign exchange violations. The agency has initiated enquiries about "suspected contraventions of the provisions of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (Fema) by Bharti Airtel." Though the exact details of the probe are not available, the overseas acquisitions of Bharti Airtel are being scrutinised. In addition to this, market regulator SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) had received complaints against the promoters of Bharti Airtel for violating takeover code. The promoters had increased their shareholding in the company from 60.91% on 30 June 2007 to 67.15% on 30 September 2008 without making an open offer. According to the complaint, this was a violation of Regulation 11 of the SEBI (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeovers) Regulations 1997.