Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with Japan (down 2.8%) and Indonesia (down 0.9%) leading the losses. However, markets in Hong Kong (up 0.5%) and China (up 0.3%) are trading firm. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a positive note. The sectoral indices have opened mixed with stocks in the power and auto space leading the losses. However, software and healthcare stocks are witnessing gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 18 points (0.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 5 points (0.1%). Mid and small cap stocks are trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.4% each. The rupee is trading at Rs 56.44 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Maruti Suzuki Ltd and Force Motors Ltd leading the losses. The auto sales in May remained sluggish for the seventh month in a row on account of a slowing economy and sluggish demand. As per some car company executives, sales are nearing a bottom and should revive in a few months. The car market leader Maruti Suzuki Ltd has reported a 13% year on year (YoY) decline in car sales. While new model launches have boosted sales for some carmakers, the rest witnessed either a double-digit drop in sales or a marginal increase from a year ago. The petrol driven vehicles were back in demand as the price gap between diesel and petrol has narrowed. With this changing trend, demand for Maruti's diesel versions was affected adversely. For the same reason, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd also witnessed weak a sales growth as it has predominantly been a diesel-driven portfolio. The passenger vehicles sales at Mahindra and Mahindra were up by only 5% YoY. Honda India sales were up 10% YoY.
Telecom stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Tata Teleservices Ltd and AGC Networks leading the gains. However, Tata Communications and Reliance Communications are leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, two executives at Bharti Airtel Ltd have said that the company is planning to sell minority stakes in its landline and enterprise businesses in order to cut debt. As per the daily the company is looking at an enterprise valuation of about Rs 170 bn for its fixedline unit and about Rs 65 bn for its enterprise business. As per the executive, the stake sale in the fixedline business will happen first and the enterprise unit much later (after 12 to 18 months). The company's spokesperson has refused to comment on selling stake in its fixedline business. He further said that there are no plans to offload stake in the enterprise arm.