Most Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note. Stock markets in Japan (up 1.5%), Taiwan (up 2.3%) and South Korea (up 1.7%) are leading the pack of gainers. However, the markets in Indonesia (down 1.3%) are trading weak. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note as well. Realty, metal and IT stocks are leading the gains.
The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 66 points (0.4%), the NSE-Nifty is up by around 21 points (0.4%). The midcap and smallcap stocks are in the positive as well with both the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by 0.5% and 0.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at 47.71 to the US dollar.
Steel stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Tata Steel, JSW Steel, Jindal Steel and Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) leading the gains. Over the next four years, Indian steel major Tata Steel plans to cut about 1,000 full-time jobs at Ljmuiden plant in the Netherlands. While engaging in such cost cutting measures, the company also plans to invest about Euro 800 m (approximately Rs 52.2 bn) in the facility to raise liquid steel production capacity by 0.5 m tonnes (mt) to 7.7 mt and enhance product quality over the next five years. The cutting of jobs is part of the company's "Improvement Programme", which is a five-year plan designed to sustain the potential of the plant by reducing costs and improving product quality.
Aluminium stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Hindalco Industries and National Aluminium Company Ltd (Nalco) trading in the green. Due to short supply of coal, state-owned steel major Nalco has finally resorted to importing the same. It has placed an order to import about 2 lakh tonnes of coal. The supply glut has been caused due to the heavy rains and floods in Orissa. The company procures coal from Mahanadi Coalfields for its 1,200 MW thermal captive power plant at Angul in Orissa. This plant supplies power to the company's aluminium smelter located nearby. As a result of the supply shortage, the company had been receiving only 7,400 tonnes of coal per day over the last two weeks as against the daily requirement of 12,000 tonnes. This in turn caused the company to incur losses of about Rs 10 m per day.