The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a positive note with stock markets in South Korea (up 0.9%) and Japan (up 2.0%) leading the gains. The Indian share markets indices have also opened the day in the green. Barring capital goods and software, all sectoral indices have opened in the positive led by the stocks in the realty and auto space.
The Sensex today is up by around 31 points (0.2%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by 13 points (0.2%). Mid and small cap stocks have also opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.2% and 0.3% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 53.94 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day mainly in the green with Ashok Leyland Ltd and Maruti Suzuki Ltd leading the gains. However, Hero MotoCorp Ltd and Force Motors Ltd are leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, India's third biggest domestic two-wheeler seller, Bajaj Auto Ltd is targeting 27-30% share of the local motorcycle market based on a series of launches planned in the coming months. The company plans to launch several new motorcycles in the next financial year including premium performance bikes under its flagship brand, Pulsar. It also plans to launch commuter and economy segment bikes under the Discover brand. The current domestic market share of the company stands at 24%. Hence, the targeted share is a significant increase from the current levels despite a 3% year on year (YoY) fall in sales during April 2012- February 2013. In contrast, the industry sales have increased by 3.85% YoY over the same period. It is important to note here than the company is not present in the automatic scooter segment which has recorded a growth of 16% YoY so far this year versus a growth of 1% YoY of the motorcycle segment.
Mining stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Gujarat NRE Coke and MMTC Ltd leading the gains. However, Coal India Ltd and Ashapura Minechem Ltd are trading weak. As per a leading financial daily, the country's energy giants Coal India Ltd (CIL) and National Thermal Power Corporation Ltd (NTPC) are headed for a showdown on fuel pacts. NTPC has put forth two new demands. These are regarding acceptable quality of coal and losses during transport under the new fuel supply agreements (FSAs). NTPC has refused to buy low grade coal and is seeking provisions in new FSAs for billing on quality that it receives at its end. CIL on the other hand wants billing for quality at the time of loading at mines. CIL has proposed that it can supply low grade coal after washing but NTPC will have to pay higher costs for it. The issue may derail the government's efforts to free huge investments stuck due to coal shortage.