Opening Bell 2 September

Opening Bell 2 September

New Delhi: The global rally seems to have fizzled out as the Indian markets took a two-day break. Overnight, stock markets in the US fell on fears of weak employment numbers. The US Labour Department will release the monthly payroll report later in the day. Investors fear that the data might show high jobless rate in the economy. S&P 500 at 1,204 is down 1.19% on selling in financial services stocks.

Asian markets also opened on a weak note. Stock markets in Japan and South Korea fell on fears of a weak recovery in the US economy. Japan’s Nikkei at 8,997 is down 0.70% on selling in stocks of export-based companies.

Back home, the Reserve Bank of India’s argument for a tight monetary policy has just got strengthened. Food price inflation has hit double digits. The price gauge for the week ended 20 August rose by 10.05%, the highest in five months. The previous week, the index stood at 9.80%.

Notwithstanding the troubles in the US and European economies, exports surged by 82% to $29.3 billion in July. While the strong growth in exports has come as a pleasant surprise, imports during July jumped by 51.5% to $40.4 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $11 billion.

Rising interest rates and policy uncertainty are taking a toll on new investments. According to reports, new investment announcements by companies have more than halved to 32.5 lakh crore in the first quarter of current financial year. In the same quarter last year, new investment announcements stood at 71.4 lakh crore. Read more...-

Expect some action in automobile stocks. The ongoing labour unrest at Manesar plant has impacted Maruti Suzuki’s sales in August. The company reported a 12.74% drop last month sales to 91,442 units. The company sold 1,04,791 units in the same month last year. Read Mint’s story...

Meanwhile, the stand-off between Maruti’s management and its workers is continuing with no solution in sight. The workers are protesting against signing the mandatory ‘good conduct bond.’Read more...

Mahindra & Mahindra reported a 30.38% jump in August sales to 37,684 units. The company had sold 28,903 units in the same month last year. Passenger car model, Verito, has registered a two-fold jump in sales.

Two wheeler companies, on the other hand, continued to register healthy growth in sales. TVS Motor Company reported a 14% growth in overall sales in August. The company sold 194,898 units in August. In the same month last year, it sold 170,735 units. Read Mint’s story...

Reliance Capital and its life insurance business partner, Nippon Life Insurance, are looking at options to further their collaboration in financial services businesses. The firms are reportedly discussing possible tie-ups in asset management business, pension funds, managed accounts and hedge funds.

Lanco Infratech’s trouble with Perdaman Industries is far from over. A day after Lanco announced formal termination of its coal supply agreement with Perdaman, the latter termed the move as ‘wrongful.’

As part of the strategy to exit non-home businesses and reduce debt levels, Unitech is planning to sell three hotels that it is currently developing. The three hotels put together will have a combined capacity of 600 rooms.

Expect some action in Dr Reddy’s Laboratories stock. The company has entered into a settlement agreement with Pfizer to resolve litigation over cholesterol lowering Lipitor tablets.

A Parliamentary panel has asked the Mines Ministry to give top priority to the development of NALCO’s Utkal-E coal block. The Utkal-E coal block is estimated to have a reserve of 70 million tonnes. The block was allocated in 2004 but could not be commissioned for want of various clearances. Read more...

Finally, with traditional methods of home expansion exhausting, well-off homeowners in Britain are expanding their houses under the ground. Much to the chagrin of their neighbours, wealthy Britons are building swimming pools, cinemas, recreation centers, gyms, waterfalls and much more. Read more to find out how Londoners are creating new facilities under their houses.