Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in South Korea (up 0.5%) and Taiwan (up 0.1%) leading the gains. However, markets in Japan (down 0.6%) and China (down 0.4%) are trading in the red. The Indian share markets have opened the day on a flat note. The sectoral indices are trading mixed with power and capital goods indices leading the losses. However, healthcare and FMCG indices are trading firm.
Power and metal sector stocks have opened the day with significant losses. Power stocks that are leading the losses include Adani Power and Jaiprakash Power. Among metal stocks, Jindal Steel and Bhushan Steel are leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, power and metal stocks plunged yesterday after Supreme Court held that all coal blocks allocated by the government to various firms between 1993 and 2009 were done in an illegal manner. Stocks that witnessed sharp falls included Tata Steel, Hindalco Industries, Jindal Steel, JSW Energy and others. As per the Supreme Court, the final decision on the fate of the coal blocks will be taken on September 01, 2014. Market participants believe that the cancellation of 206 coal block mines is unlikely. They expect the business-friendly government at the Centre to intervene and find a solution to the issue. It is worth noting that metals and power companies depend significantly on coal to run smelters and generate electricity. These sectors have witnessed a strong rally in stock prices on expectations of reforms by the Modi government.
Auto sector stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and TVS Motor Company leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, trade watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI) has imposed a penalty of Rs 25,446 m on 14 car makers including Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors for violating trade norms in branded spare parts and after-sales service. The other blacklisted manufacturers that have been penalised by the CCI are the Indian subsidiaries of Honda Siel, Volkswagen, Fiat, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Hindustan Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan Motor, Skoda and Toyota. CCI's detailed investigation uncovered that these car companies had violated norms with respect to their agreements with local equipment suppliers as well as in terms of pacts with authorised dealers. It also revealed that the auto companies, which were found to be dominant in the 'after markets' for their respective brands, abused their dominant position, affecting around 20 million car consumers. For each car company, the individual fine amounts to 2% of its average turnover. The penalty is to be deposited within 60 days of receipt of the order.