Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in China (down 0.3%) and Taiwan (down 0.3%) leading the pack of losers in the region. However, markets in Indonesia (up 0.5%) and Hong Kong (up 0.5%) are trading firm. The Indian share market indices have opened the day in the red. Stocks in the technology space are leading the losses with heavyweight Infosys leading the losses in the sector. The company has reported its quarterly results for the quarter ended September 2012. In addition to that it also reported the resignation of its CFO, Mr Balakrishnan. However, FMCG and healthcare stocks are trading firm.
The Sensex today is down by around 77 points (0.4%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 15 points (0.3%). However, mid and small cap stocks are trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by 0.5% and 0.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 52.65 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with TVS Motors, Eicher Motor and Force Motors leading the gains. However, Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki are facing selling pressure. After ending its over 25 year old partnership with Japanese partner Honda, India's largest two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp has been witnessing a decline in its market share. The company's market share has declined from 45.3% in April-September 2011 period to 42.7% during the same period in the current financial year. It is worth noting that the biggest gainer in terms of market share has been Honda's 100% Indian subsidiary Honda Motorcycle & Scooters India (HMSI). During the same period, HMSI's market share has shot by almost 600 basis points (6%) over the corresponding period of the previous fiscal. The worrying aspect about Hero MotoCorp's decline in market share is the fact that its share has been dipping systematically month by month. From 46.2% in April 2012, the company's share went as low as 36.8% in September 2012. It is worth noting that almost all other players have gained market share during this period.
Private sector bank stocks have also opened the day on a mixed note with J&K Bank, Karnataka Bank, and Development Credit Bank leading the gains. However, ING Vysya Bank, Kotak Bank and ICICI Bank are facing selling pressure. Recently, several PSU banks such as State Bank of India (SBI), Vijaya Bank, Bank of Baroda and others lowered interest rates on home loans. After the initiative of these banks, India's largest private sector bank by assets, ICICI Bank, has followed suit and cut lending rates from 25 basis points (0.25%) to 100 basis points (1%) across maturities. The new rates are applicable for two months and aimed at retaining retail market share during the festival season. However, the private sector bank's lending rates are still higher than those offered by SBI. ICICI Bank's floating rate home loans up to Rs 30 lakh will now be lent at an interest rate of 10.25% from 10.5% earlier. Between Rs 30 lakh and Rs 3 crore the rate is 10.5%, 1% lower than earlier. The bank has also discarded the slab of Rs 30 to Rs 75 lakh so that the biggest segment can benefit from lower interest rates.