Barring Hong Kong (up 0.2%) and Malaysia (up 0.2%), all major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note with stock markets in South Korea (down 0.9%) and Taiwan (down 0.8%) leading the pack of losers in the region. The Indian share market indices have also opened the day in the red. Stocks in the consumer oil & gas, auto and banking space are leading the losses. However, consumer durables and FMCG stocks are trading firm.
The Sensex today is down by around 62 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 17 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 around 0.1% and 0.2% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 53.78 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Hero MotoCorp leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, leading tractor manufacturer M&M expects to beat the industry growth rate in the second half of the financial year 2012-13 (2HFY13). The delayed pick-up in monsoons is likely to augur well for the summer crops, which in turn would boost tractor sales. On account of the poor rains in Maharashtra and southern parts of India as well as the weak business sentiment, the companys sales were adversely affected during the first half of the current fiscal (1HFY13). M&M expects the industry to grow by about 2-5% in 2HFY13 and seems confident to achieve a higher growth rate. It must be noted that the company along with another group firm has a 42% market share in Indias Rs 300 bn tractor business.
Cement stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Ambuja Cements, Mangalam Cement and ACC Ltd. leading the gains. Cement major ACC Ltd has announced its financial results for the third quarter of the calendar year 2012 (3QCY12). The company reported net sales of Rs 24,445 m during the quarter ended September 2012, a rise of 13.7% over the corresponding quarter of the previous calendar year. The growth in the topline was driven by higher cement realisations. Cement sales volume during 3QCY12 stood at 5.4 million tonnes (MT), a decline of 5.1% year-on-year (YoY). Operating profits increased by 97.4% during the period. Operating margins improved from 10.3% in 3QCY11 to 17.8% in 3QCY12. The company reported net profits of Rs 2,487 m during the quarter, higher by 48.4% YoY. Net profit margins improved from 7.8% in 3QCY11 to 10.2% in 3QCY12.