The Indian markets have started today's session on a positive note. The benchmark indices opened below the breakeven mark but soon moved into the positive territory. Other key Asian markets are in the green with China (up 2.6%) leading the pack of gainers. The US markets ended higher by 0.5% last Friday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading strong with energy majors attracting investors' interest. The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 162 points, while the NSE-Nifty is trading up by around 46 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 44.21 to the US dollar.
Power stocks have opened the day on a strong note. Gainers here include Power Grid and Neyveli Lignite. As per a leading business daily, the first phase of NTPC's 1,980 megawatt (MW) power plant in Chhattisgarh will become operational in December this year. The plant is coming up at Sepat in Bilaspur district. The first phase will have a capacity of 660 MW. The second phase, also of same capacity, will become operational in March next year. It may be noted that NTPC has a target to augment power generation capacity to 50, 000 MW by the end of March 2012 and further to 75,000 MW by the end of 12th plan in March 2017. However, given the pace of expansion and the overall trend in the power sector, the capacity addition is likely to be well below the target.
FMCG stocks have opened the day on a strong note. Gainers here include Nirma and HUL. As per a leading business daily, FMCG giants like HUL, P&G and Nirma are facing severe cost pressure in their detergent segments. Soda ash forms around 30% of the total product formulation costs of low price detergents and around 15% for premium detergents. The prices of this critical input are on the rise. There is also a move to impose an anti-dumping duty on the raw material. If such a duty is imposed, prices of detergents could go up by 10% to 12 %. Interestingly, such a duty could lead to a situation where it would be cheaper to import detergents into India than make them in the country using raw materials like soda ash.