The Indian markets have started today's session on a negative note. The benchmark indices opened below yesterday's closing levels and have struggled to move into the positive since then. Other key Asian markets are trading in the red with Malaysia (down 1%) leading the pack of losers. The US markets closed lower by 0.7% yesterday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading a mixed bag with auto and telecom stocks attracting some buying interest. However, aluminium stocks are trading in the red. The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by around 75 points, while the NSE-Nifty is down by about 20 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 0.1% and 0.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.59 to the US dollar.
FMCG stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Godrej Consumer and Marico. As per a leading business daily, Nestle plans to introduce more products from its global portfolio and 'Indianise' them. It also plans to continue its focus on the rural market. It may be noted that of late, the company has targeted the rural market by aiming at setting up 6,000 new sales points every month. It has also re-launched some of its products across India. Besides enhancing its sales channels and product portfolio in the rural markets, the company plans to reduce its stock keeping units. Nestle is a strong FMCG player in urban centres. But like most FMCG majors, the company is now looking for the next round of growth after the saturation in urban markets. It may be noted that India is still a small part of Nestle's worldwide operations but is one of its fastest growing markets.
Engineering stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Engineers India and Blue Star. As per a leading business daily, Punj Lloyd has won India's largest solar-based contract from the Bihar government worth Rs 2.3 bn for installing water treatment plants in the state. The engineering, procurement and construction contract is for 850 solar-powered water treatment plants for removal of arsenic and fluoride across several districts in Bihar. It will resolve the severe groundwater contamination, resulting in many types of diseases. The contract will be executed by Punj Lloyd Group's renewable energy arm, Punj Lloyd Delta Renewables. In our view, this contract will strengthen the company's capabilities in this space. It is already providing solar lighting for the Commonwealth Games Village. The company's current order backlog stands at Rs 262 bn.