The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in Japan (down 0.2%) and Hong Kong(down 1.3%) leading the losses. However, the stock markets in Singapore (up 0.1%) and Taiwan (up 0.5%) were trading in the green. The Indian share markets have opened the day on a firm note. Barring software, all sectoral indices have opened in the green with stocks in the realty and FMCG sector leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 120 points (0.5%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 32 points (0.5%). The midcap and smallcap stocks have opened in the green as well with BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.5% and 0.6% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 60.18 to the US dollar.
Cement stocks have opened mainly in the green with JK Lakshmi Cement Ltd and Birla Corporation Ltd leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, India's biggest cement manufacturer Ultratech Cement Ltd is planning to buy the local assets of Holcim Ltd and Lafarge SA. The two European companies agreed to a merger last month. They are planning to sell assets worth US$ 6.9 bn in revenue and may divest in Brazil, India, China, Canada and the US. If Ultratech is able to get these assets, it will likely help the firm gain market share. The total cement capacity in India held by the two and units is about 62 million tonnes.
As per Mr. C Rangrajan, Chairman, Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC), with gold imports slowing down and inflation levels easing, the country's current account deficit (CAD) is expected to be around 2 % of the GDP in the coming few years. He has stated that the demand of gold should fall going ahead given that the gold prices are not rising. He further suggested that there are also other factors contributing to the improvement of exports. As such, the CAD should settle down at a level of 2% of GDP. In 2012-13, CAD stood at 4.7 % of the GDP. As per Mr. P Chidambaram, in 2013-14, it should stand at 1.7 %.