The Indian markets began the day on a volatile note. However, they are still trading well above the dotted line. This is despite Asian markets trading in the red. While China's benchmark index is trading lower by about 0.5% that of Hong Kong is trading marginally lower. The US markets closed higher by 0.3% yesterday.
The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by 60 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by 15 points (0.3%). Buying activity is currently being witnessed in stocks across sectors, led by power, auto and metal. Stocks from the IT and healthcare spaces are however not in favor. Buying interest is also being witnessed among mid and small-cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 0.5% and 0.9% respectively. The rupee is trading at 46.69 to the US dollar.
Auto majors have opened the day on a mixed note today. While Maruti and M&M are trading strong, there is some amount of weakness being observed in Tata Motors. Gains in Maruti could be a result of news in a leading daily that passenger car manufacturers like Maruti and Hyundai are all set to repeat the performance of the current fiscal in the month of December as well. While part of the buoyancy in growth could be attributed to a low base effect, even after accounting for the impact of the same, the numbers are nothing to scoff at. Maruti along with Hyundai, both of whom control nearly 3/4th of the domestic market, are well positioned to witness an impressive 30% YoY growth in domestic sales in the month of December.
What has also not dented consumer demand is a clutch of new launches few months down the line. Traditionally, announcement of a new launch does lower car demand in the concerned segment but even this trend is nowhere visible this time around. Clearly, the Indian car market is having a dream run currently.
Telecom stocks are currently trading firm led by Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications. A leading business daily has reported that the Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India (AUSPI), the body which represents CDMA players in the telecom sector, has requested the telecom regulator TRAI not to intervene with the tariffs being offered by the telecom players. It must be noted that in 2004, TRAI had introduced a tariff forbearance policy in a bid to promote competition within the industry.
The AUSPI as such, is urging TRAI to continue with its policy. With telecom tariffs reaching unprecedented levels, there are concerns over the viability of providing telecom services at such low rates. Not so long ago, telecom major Bharti Airtel had requested TRAI to look into the tariff issues on the back 'predatory pricing' by some of the new operators. In response, the regulator had responded asking its member companies to present the business case for their low tariffs.