Asian stock markets have opened the day on a positive note. Benchmark indices in Indonesia (up 1.4%), Hong Kong (up 1.1%) and Japan (up 0.9%) are leading the pack of gainers. However, the Indian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note. Stocks in the metal space are leading the losers' pack.
The BSE-Sensex is lower by around 32 points (0.2%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 17 points (0.3%). Midcap and small cap stocks are trading in the negative as well, with the BSE Midcap and the BSE Small cap indices down by about 0.2% each. The rupee is trading at 44.34 to the US dollar.
Technology (IT) stocks have opened the day on a positive note with Infosys and HCL Technologies leading the gains. However, stocks of Wipro and Oracle Financial Services are currently witnessing selling pressure. Midcap IT major, Tech Mahindra has recently stated that it has received a contract from Microsoft. The contract is to set up a lab for Microsoft for video encoders used in the deployment of IPTV solutions for Microsoft's mediaroom solutions. Tech Mahindra plans to set up the lab at its Bangalore facility. The lab has been set up in collaboration with Microsoft. Encoders for OEMs all over the world would be tested and qualified against conformance from this lab. However, the company has not disclosed any financial specifications of the contract. Tech Mahindra has been in news recently due to the speculation that British Telecommunications (BT) may sell its stake in the company. However, BT has clarified that they would maintain their 24.4% stake in Tech Mahindra and have no plans to sell the stake in the near future.
FMCG stocks have opened the day on a mixed note. On one hand stocks of Godrej Consumer Products and Nestle India are trading in the green. On the other hand, stocks of Hindustan Unilever (HUL) and Tata Global are trading in the red. Personal care product manufacturers plan to focus their marketing efforts to target the male grooming product segment. Companies including HUL, ITC, Emami and Procter & Gamble see a huge opportunity in the segment. Changing lifestyles and growing personal disposable incomes are expected to be the main drivers for the market segment. Currently, men's skin care products account for only Rs 50 bn of the total Rs 450 bn skin care market. As per a major global research firm, this market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 20% from 2010 to 2014. As per AC Nielsen, men's skincare category grew by a whopping 47% during 2010. This is much higher than the growth rate of 22% clocked by the women's skin care products. Personal care product companies are launching more and more specialized products to capture the huge opportunity offered by this market segment.