The Indian markets have started today's session on a positive note. The benchmark indices opened on the breakeven mark and soon moved into the positive territory. However, these have struggled to hold on to their gains since then. Other key Asian markets are in the red with Japan (down 1.5%) leading the pack of losers. The US markets closed lower by 0.4% yesterday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading weak with banking and auto majors facing the brunt of selling activity. The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 20 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 5 points. Some buying interest is also being witnessed among mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 0.2% and 0.5% respectively. The rupee is trading at 46.24 to the US dollar.
Cement stocks have opened the day on a strong note. Gainers here include Shree Cement and Madras Cements. Madras Cements has announced its 1QFY11 results. The company has reported a 6% YoY decline in revenues during the quarter. Its operating profits fell by 34% YoY as growth in cost of operation exceeded the growth in topline. The higher cost of operation exerted pressure on operating margins that declined by 11% to 27.6%. While the company was able to contain the cost of transportation and raw materials, profitability was impacted due to increase in employee, power and fuel, and other costs. Due to a fall in operating profits as well as an increase in depreciation, net profit saw a decline of 48% YoY during the quarter. The increase in other income as well as decrease in interest costs could not do much in terms of offsetting this decline.
FMCG stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Pidilite and Gillette India. As per a leading business daily, Godrej Consumer is targeting a 25% market share in the hand sanitiser segment this fiscal. The company has launched several products, including sanitisers, wet-wipes and hand-wash under its brand Protekt, with an aim to get a grip on the hand hygiene market. The sanitiser market is still at a nascent stage in India, but is slowly picking up. The market size is estimated at around Rs 250 m and is growing at 50% each year. Godrej Consumer plans to launch a campaign for hand hygiene products in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Kolkata. It will focus on railway stations, colleges and shopping malls for the campaign.