Most Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note. Stock markets in Hong Kong (up 1.4%), South Korea (up 2.8%), Singapore (up 1.4%), Japan (up 1.1%), and Taiwan (up 2%) are leading the pack of gainers. However, markets in China (down 1.1%) are facing selling pressure. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a strong note. Stocks in the IT, technology and metal space are leading the gains.
The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 369 points (2.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 99 points (2.1%). Midcap and small cap stocks are trading firm as well, with both the BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices up by 1.7% and 1.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at 45.95 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a strong note with Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto and Ashok Leyland leading the pack of gainers. India's biggest passenger car manufacturer Maruti Suzuki is planning to launch 15-20 new vehicle models in a period of 5 years. The main purpose of this is to remain competitive and to protect its market share. About 70-80% offerings will be low-cost small car segment models which will include facelifts and variants. Of the new vehicle models planned, 5 are already in the advanced stages of development. Over the next 3-5 years, the company will make an investment of about Rs 10-15 bn on product development. This will also include its upcoming Research & Development (R&D) facility at Rohtak which is expected to be operational by the first half of 2014.
Energy Stocks have opened the day in the green with Essar Oil, Reliance Industries (RIL) and Petronet LNG leading the gains. Oil major, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) is expecting to start its oil and gas production from Krishna-Godavari (KG) basin field GS-15 from the next month. The field is located off the Andhra coast. The company has also planned to start production from its G-1 marginal field from July 2012. This field is also located in the KG Basin. The company has asked the Petroleum Ministry to identify the users for the produced gas. It has also asked for permission to price the gas at US$ 4.75 per million British thermal units (mBtu). On an average, around 190,000 cubic metres of gas will be available per day once the production starts in September 2011. Once the G-1 field also starts production, the gas output will go up to 1.52 mmscmd in 2012. The company is hoping to get the price approval soon.