The Indian markets have started on a negative note as the benchmark indices opened below the breakeven mark. This is on the back of expectations that job creation in the US will continue to be poor. However, there are signs of a positive movement towards the dotted line since then. Asia is currently trading in the red with Hong Kong (down 1.3%) leading the pack of losers. The US markets closed 0.8% lower yesterday.
Currently, in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading a mixed bag with software stocks leading the pack of gainers. However, select auto and banking majors are in the red. The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by 33 points, while the NSE-Nifty is down by 15 points. However, buying interest is being witnessed among mid and small-cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 0.3% and 0.5% respectively. The rupee is trading at 46.22 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a weak note. Losers here include Eicher Motor and Maruti Suzuki. As per a leading business daily, India's largest passenger car maker Maruti Suzuki is developing a brand new small car. In fact, it will be showcased as a concept car as early as next month in the upcoming Auto Expo. The company is apparently working on two small car projects based on existing platforms. One of them will be the next generation WagonR, while the other will replace the M800 after it is phased out due to Bhart 4 emission norms. It may be noted that the company has eight platforms which it plans to bring down to three – Alto, WagonR and Estilo. In our view, this development indicates the measures being taken by Maruti to hold on to its 50% market share of India's passenger car market which is set to reach 3 m units per annum in five years.
Software stocks have opened the day on a mixed note. Gainers here include Mphasis and HCL Infosys. As per a leading business daily, IT major Wipro plans to hire around 8,500 employees in FY10. The company also plans to start the process early next year to fill the requirements of FY11. About 60% of the recruits will be freshers and will include non engineering graduates who will be groomed by the company. In our view, recruitment by Indian IT majors will start gathering momentum once the IT budgets of their clients are finalised. With the economic outlook looking much better this year, better budgets for IT spending overseas is likely to translate into more jobs in India.