The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in China (down 0.1%) and Malaysia (down 0.1%) leading the losses. However, the markets in Japan (up 0.7%) and Taiwan (up 0.8%) have opened on a positive note. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a firm note. Barring banking, all sectoral indices have opened in the green led by stocks in the consumer durables and software sector.
The Sensex today is up by around 52 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 12 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 0.5% and 0.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 55.46 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have opened the day mainly in the green led by Tata Motors and Force Motors. As per the data available with Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), Japanese auto major Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) has overtaken Munjals' promoted Hero MotoCorp in the premium motorcycle (between 125 and 150 cc engine segment) category sales. It is important to note here that the both used to be partners earlier and had parted ways nearly two years ago. Between April and October of this fiscal, Hero's sales in the premium segment have declined by a steep 53% to 80,303 units. However, HMSI has registered a strong growth of 76% to sell 134,650 units during the period. This is despite the fact that HMSI has not introduced any new products in the category. In the corresponding period last year, Honda was trailing behind Hero by 92,861 units. The premium category has strong revenue and margin implications since its product prices are 45% -92% higher than that of a model in the entry-level mass segment. Also, HMSI has closed the sales gap with Hero MotoCorp to a mere 3,418 units (April-October 2012) even in the 110-125 cc motorcycle segment. This compares to a gap of 26,542 units in the same period last year.
Steel stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Adhunik Metaliks and Hindustan Zinc leading the gains. However, Tayo Rolls and Bhushan Steel were trading weak. As per a leading financial daily, due to difficult economic conditions in Europe, Tata Steel will go for restructuring. As a part of this restructuring drive, it is planning to cut 900 jobs in the UK, majority of which will be of administrative and management personnel at its integrated production plant in Port Talbot, South Wales. Tata Steel also intends to revamp its redistribution and processing hubs and reduce the total number from 16 to 6. The company will reduce shifts at its long-products operations in Rotherham, and its tubing business in Hartlepool to adjust production levels to lower demand. It will also re-start a blast furnace at Port Talbot early next year, following a Rs 22 bn investment programme and restart a hot strip mill at its Llanwern site in South Wales.