Asian equity markets have opened the week on a mixed note. While markets in Japan (up 1.8%) and Singapore (up 0.3%) are trading in the green, however those in China (down 1.3%) and Korea (down 0.2%) are witnessing losses. The Indian equity markets have opened the day on an upbeat note. Stocks in the realty and capital goods sectors are leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 201 points (1.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 57 points (1.0%). Mid and small cap stocks are trading in the green as well with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices down by around 1.1% and 1.2% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 53.75 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a positive note with Ashok Leyland, Maruti Suzuki and Tata Motors leading the gains in the sector. The recent increase in the price of diesel fuel has not deterred the plans of auto manufacturers. The companies still plan to launch their SUVs (sports utility vehicles) as per their previous plans. As per Economic Times, companies like Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), Tata Motors, Nissan and Ford, are in the process of finalizing and freezing their launch plans for UVs. M&M and Tata Motors plan to launch their models in the considerable affordable price bracket of Rs 6 lakhs to Rs 12 lakhs. The companies have stated that they expect the hike in diesel prices to be a short term dampner. However, they expect the festival season demand to more than offset the impact of the same. The reason is the lack of the petrol alternative in the UV space. Though petrol variants are available in the smaller and medium sized cars, there is no such alternative in the larger UV space. The demand for UVs has picked up in recent times. One driver for this was the price differential between petrol and diesel. However, the recent price increase seems to hint that this advantage may not last too long.
Mining stocks are trading strong led by Sesa Goa and Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation (MMTC). According to a leading financial daily, Coal India and its subsidiaries may be allowed by the government of India to produce coal-bed methane (CBM) from their blocks without any competitive bidding. The company will be granted an exception to the existing norms that requires the government to invite bids from public and private firms for producing gas trapped in coal seams under the CBM policy. The government is in favor of allowing only state-run miners having coal mining licenses to produce CBM to avoid criticism that the policy gave undue benefits to private firms. So far, 33 blocks have been awarded to companies such as Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Reliance Industries and Essar Energy in four auction rounds.