Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note. Stock markets in Hong Kong (up 2.1%), Japan (up 1.5%), and China (up 1.1%) are leading the gains. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note as well. Stocks in banking and metal space are the top gainers.
The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 209 points (1.3%) and the NSE-Nifty is up by around 61 points (1.3%). Midcap and small cap stocks are trading in the green as well, with the BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices, are up by 1.5% and 1.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at 45.95 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a positive note with Tata Motors and Hero Honda leading the gains. However, Bajaj Auto and Maruti are trading in the red. Auto major, Maruti Suzuki India is again facing problems as production has halted at its Manesar facility. There was a 'go-slow' (a form of strike) by the workers which affected the quality of production. The company has said that this move would have a direct impact on the customer's interest and trust. To avoid problems ahead, the company has asked the workers to sign a 'good conduct bond' before resuming work after alleged quality issues. The company also wants an undertaking that the workers would not indulge in any union related activities. The application for union formation made by workers to the government was also rejected by the Haryana Government. The management did not give any specific indication on the timeline for resolving this new deadlock.
Power stocks have opened the day on a firm note with JSW Energy and Reliance Power trading in the green. Anil Ambani-led Reliance Power is planning to set 500 MW solar power projects in Rajasthan over the next three years. The investment for the same is expected to be about Rs 80 bn. In the first phase of the project, the company will set up a 40 MW plant by 2012. The US Exim Bank has approved a loan of U$ 84 m for the same. The interest rate for the loan is 4-5% and the tenure would be 17 years. Also, a power purchase agreement has been signed with Reliance Infrastructure for this plant. A 100 MW project is expected to be set up by 2013. For this project, Reliance Power has signed power purchase agreement with NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam Ltd at a tariff of Rs 11.97 per unit.