The Indian markets have started today's session on a positive note. The benchmark indices opened above the breakeven mark and have stayed in the positive territory. Other key Asian markets are in the green with Hong Kong (up 1.4%) leading the pack of gainers. The US markets ended higher by 0.4% last Friday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading strong with auto majors attracting investors' interest. The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 230 points, while the NSE-Nifty is trading up by around 65 points. Buying interest is also being witnessed among mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 0.9% and 1% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.41 to the US dollar.
Steel stocks have opened the day on a strong note. Gainers here include Bhushan Steel and Tata Steel. As per a leading business daily, Tata Steel has increased prices of its products by up to Rs 1,500 per tonne. In fact, other steel makers have also increased their prices recently. While SAIL hiked the prices by up to Rs 1,000 a tonne, JSW Steel and Essar Steel hiked rates by up to Rs 1,500 a tonne across different products. This is mainly on account of rising demand and rise in raw material cost. The demand for steel is especially strong from the auto sector which is likely to see a further boost during the upcoming festival season. Iron ore prices have gone up by up to about Rs 3,300 a tonne from Rs 1,900 a tonne earlier this year. Coking coal prices are also hovering in the range of US$ 200 a tonne as against US$ 125 a tonne last year.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a strong note. Gainers here include M&M and Bajaj Auto. As per a leading business daily, Maruti Suzuki's exports have now crossed the 800,000 units milestone. This is 23 years after it made its first shipment of 500 vehicles overseas. It may be noted that 25% of exports were accounted for by the flagship model A-Star. In FY11, the company has shipped about 76,000 vehicles so far, out of which about 54,000 units are A-Stars. The model was launched in European markets in February 2009. It is now being exported to about 100 countries. During the 23 years of export, 208,000 units of Alto and 202,000 units of M800 have been also been exported.