Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with Indonesia (up 0.9%) and China (up 0.5%) leading the gains. However, markets in South Korea (down 0.3%) and Malaysia (down 0.1%) are facing selling pressure. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a positive note. Stocks in the banking, capital goods and realty space are leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 181 points (0.9%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 64 points (1.1%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.7% and 0.4% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 61.78 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland, Bajaj Auto and Escorts leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, India's leading passenger vehicle maker Maruti Suzuki is mulling over a plan to develop its own family of diesel engines to power vehicles across segments. Currently, the company relies on Italian automaker Fiat's 1.3 multi-jet-diesel engines. Maruti has been unable to deliver a wider product portfolio of diesel cars to its customers. Now it is aiming to build its own family of diesel engines, besides the 1.3-litre engine. It is reported that the diesel engines will be built with key inputs from its Indian subsidiary's R&D.
Steel stocks have also opened the day on a firm note with JSW Steel, Tata Steel and Jindal Steel leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, World Steel Association (WSA) which released its short-range outlook yesterday has lowered its growth projection for India's steel demand to 3.4% for the current year. This is significantly lower than its earlier forecasts of 5.9% steel demand growth. As per the industry association, India's steel demand is expected to grow to 74 million tonnes (MT) in 2013, a growth of 3.4% over the previous year. In 2012 too, the growth rate was mere 2.6%. The main reasons for the poor growth have been high inflation and structural roadblocks faced by the major consumer industries of steel. The demand growth projection for 2014 has also been slashed from 7% to 5.6%.