Barring Singapore (down 0.1%), most major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note with Taiwan (up 1.5%) and Hong Kong (up 1%) leading the gains. The Indian share market indices have also opened the day on a positive note. Stocks in the metal and consumer durables space are leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 132 points (0.7%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 41 points (0.7%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.6% and 0.5% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 62.45 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Maharashtra Scooters, Bajaj Auto and Hero MotoCorp leading the gains. However, Ashok Leyland and TVS Motor Company are trading weak. As per a leading financial daily, Ashok Leyland has sold off Defiance Testing & Engineering Services (DTE), the Detroit-based testing and engineering company, to Exova. DTE, a US-based firm that provides testing and engineering services to manufacturers and suppliers in the passenger car, light truck, bus and military vehicle sectors was acquired by Ashok Leyland in 2007. The deal highlights Ashok Leyland's strategic focus on raising money by diluting its non-core assets. However, the company has not disclosed the value of the transaction. It must be noted that this deal has no impact on Defiance Technologies Ltd, Ashok Leyland's separate entity focused on IT and engineering services.
Energy stocks have also opened the day on a firm note with Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL), Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, ONGC-led consortium of Indian energy firms which includes Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Petronet LNG, are negotiating with Russia's second biggest gas producer OAO Novatek to acquire a 9% minority stake in the 16.5 million tonnes Yamal liquefied natural gas project that is worth US$ 20-billion. Chinese energy firm China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) bought 20% stake in the venture on September 5, 2013. It must be noted that French energy firm Total already holds a 20% stake in the project. Given that Novatek wants to retain 51% stake in the venture, this is the last opportunity for India energy firms to acquire a minority stake in the project.