Asian equity markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in South Korea (up 1.4%), and Hong Kong (up 0.8%) leading the gains in the region. However, markets in Singapore (down 0.2%) and Malaysia (down 0.1%) are facing selling pressure. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a firm note. Stocks in the healthcare, consumer durables and FMCG space are leading the pack of gainers. However, capital goods stocks are trading weak.
The Sensex today is up by around 35 points (0.2%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 8 points (0.2%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.1% and 0.2% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 55.43 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Maharashtra Scooters and Maruti Suzuki trading firm. However, Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland are facing selling pressure. As per a leading financial daily, India's leading passenger vehicle maker Maruti Suzuki is considering firing all of its A-shift workers. The A-shift refers to the first shift that commences at 7 am and ends at 3 pm. It must be recalled that the labour unrest at Maruti's Manesar plant took an ugly turn with the killing of the human resource manager on July 18, 2012. The violence also left 96 staffers injured. It is suspected that the A-shift workers had played a role in violence. With the help of some of its employees who are said to be primary witnesses to the incident, the company has stated that it is in the process of identifying the culprits. The exact number of workers from the A-shift involved in the violence is not known because most of the attackers had camouflaged themselves.
Oil & gas stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, ONGC has rolled back its earlier order barring Essar Group entities from participating in its tenders. The state-run firm has issued an amendment dated July 27, 2012, that bars only one entity in the Essar group- Essar Oilfield Services India (EOSIL). The company has decided to stop any further business dealing with EOSIL for two years starting from September 5, 2011. In the previous order, ONGC has put a blanket ban on all Essar group entities. Later, the Essar Group had approached the Bombay High Court against ONGC's decision to bar the business house from its offshore oil services tenders worth US$ 2 billion.