All major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note with stock markets in Malaysia (down 0.6%) and Singapore (down 0.2%) leading the losses in the region. However, the Indian share market indices have opened the day in the green. Stocks in the oil and gas and healthcare space are leading the gains. However, auto and metal stocks are trading weak.
The Sensex today is up by around 32 points (0.2%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 15 points (0.3%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.5% and 0.7% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 52.33 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Tata Motors, Hero MotoCorp and Bajaj Auto trading in the red. As per a leading financial daily, leading utility vehicle manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) is developing a range of small, sub-four-metre cars. It is said that these monocoque, front wheel-drive cars would directly compete with Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai, the top two players in the passenger vehicle segment. It must be noted that monocoque, or unitary construction, is a vehicle-construction process that is typically used to build modern small cars and sedans. The price range of M&M's small cars is expected to be Rs 3 to 5 lakh. Recently, the company launched its sub-four-metre car Quanto which is a derivative of the Xylo multi purpose vehicle.
Oil and gas stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, it is likely that the board of directors of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries may put investments in India's oil and gas assets on hold until the government agrees on two major issues. One is removing to the cap on natural gas prices and the other is approving the company's capital expenditure plans. As long as these issues are not sorted out, the company is likely to focus on other sectors such as petrochemicals & refining, telecom and retail. The investments in these sectors could be about US$ 20-25 bn from 2012-13(FY13) to 2015-16 (FY16). It must be noted that last week RIL entered into an agreement with Venezuela's state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela to invest US$ 8 bn to develop oilfields of the Orinoco Oil Strip in Caracas.