Barring Taiwan (down 0.5%) and South Korea (down 0.4%), the major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note with stock markets in Indonesia (up 4.6%) and Japan (up 1.7%) leading the gains. The Indian equity market indices have also opened the day in the green. Barring software, all sectoral indices have opened on a firm note with stocks in the banking and realty space leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 475 points (2.4%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 156 points (2.3%). Midcap stocks and small cap stocks have also opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 1.3% and 0.8% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 61.78 to the US dollar.
The US Federal Reserve has postponed the decision to taper the huge monetary stimulus. As per Fed Chairman Mr Ben Bernanke, the Fed will wait for evidence of strong economic growth before taking such a step. He justified his stand by saying that a sustained tightening under these conditions is likely to adversely impact the growth in the economy and the labour market. In reaction to this, the US stocks propelled to record highs and the bond yields were driven down. The US dollar fell to a seven-month low against major currencies while gold soared by more than 4%. Further, in fresh quarterly forecasts, the Fed has lowered its estimates for 2013 economic growth to a range of 2.0 % to 2.3 %. This compares to the earlier estimate of 2.3 % to 2.6 % range. The downgrade for 2014 was even sharper.
Telecom stocks have opened the day mainly in the green with Bharti Airtel Ltd and Reliance Communications Ltd leading the gains. The Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) has released the data on subscriber additions for the month of August 2013. India's GSM operators have added just 1.78 million new users in August2013. The additions have come down on account of slowdown in the economy and subscriber verification norms. The total subscriber base now stands at 674.4 million. Among the key operators, Aircel that ranks fifth in terms of market share, added the highest number of subscribers during the month. Bharti Airtel, the country's largest operator by subscribers and revenues , added around 8.3 lakh subscribers and maintained market leadership position with 28.% market share. Idea Cellular Ltd added 7.5 lakh subscribers during the month and ranked third among the GSM operators with 18.7% market share. Vodafone Mobile Services added around 1.6 lakh users during the month and ranked second in terms of market share. However, other operators like Mahanagar Telecom Nigam Ltd, Uninor and Vodafone lost a combined 8.4 lakh subscribers.