Indian share markets trade firm with the Sensex up by 569 points, while the Nifty is trading higher by 161 points.
Asian stock markets are higher today as investors took heart from strong rebounds on Wall Street on hopes that the newest coronavirus variant will prove less virulent than earlier strains.
The Hang Seng is up 1.4% while the Nikkei rallied 1.8%. The Shanghai Composite advanced 0.2%.
In US stock markets, Wall Street indices closed higher on Monday with economically sensitive sectors and travel-related stocks advancing solidly as investors were encouraged by some optimistic comments from a top US official on the latest Covid-19 variant.
The Dow Jones surged 1.9% while the Nasdaq Composite jumped 0.9%.
Back home, Indian share markets have opened on a strong note, following the trend on SGX Nifty.
After two days rout, benchmark indices nursed wounds today and opened higher tracking positive global cues.
The BSE Sensex is trading up by 569 points. Meanwhile, the NSE Nifty is trading higher by 161 points.
Kotak Mahindra Bank and Axis Bank are among the top gainers today.
Dr Reddy’s Lab, on the other hand, is among the top losers today.
The BSE Mid Cap index and the BSE Small Cap index are trading higher by 0.5% and 0.7%, respectively.
Barring healthcare stocks, all sectoral indices are trading in green with stocks in the metal sector and banking sector witnessing most of the buying.
Shares of Tanla Platforms and La Opala RG hit their 52-week highs today.
The rupee is trading at 75.34 against the US$.
Gold prices are trading down by 0.2% at ₹47,840 per 10 grams.
Meanwhile, silver prices are trading at ₹61,195 per kg.
Crude oil prices edged up after a near 5% rebound the day before as concerns about the impact of the Omicron variant on global fuel demand eased while Iran nuclear talks hit roadblocks, delaying the return of Iranian crude supplies.
In news from the banking sector, Kotak Mahindra Bank is among the top buzzing stocks today.
After almost eight months of payment freeze by most high-street banks that continue to shun crypto investors and bourses, Kotak Mahindra Bank has decided it will do business with WazirX, one of the country's largest crypto exchanges.
This comes amid a growing perception that cryptocurrencies could be 'regulated' and not banned in India.
With this, Kotak Bank has emerged as the first major bank to open its doors to the crypto community.
Reportedly, WazirX has opened an account with Kotak which can be used to receive and pay money to investors trading on the exchange. The account is yet to become operational. Paperwork, KYC and some testing are on.
About a year ago, WazirX closed its account with ICICI Bank, India's second-largest private lender following feelers from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) which has always been sceptical of cryptocurrencies.
Following this, more and more large banks, including HDFC Bank, Axis, and SBI restricted payments involving crypto platforms and vendors.
A bulk of WazirX's business shifted to MobiKwik, a digital wallet and payment services company.
Kotak Mahindra Bank share price is presently trading higher by 3.5%.
Moving on to news from the defence sector, Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL), Bharat Electronics (BEL) and Indian Ordnance Factories were among the top 100 global arms-producing and military services companies in 2020, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said on Monday.
The world's top five arms manufacturers are US-based companies - Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Technologies, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics.
Their aggregated arms sales of US$6.5 bn were 1.7% higher in 2020 than in 2019 and accounted for 1.2% of the top 100 total.
The arms sales of HAL ranked 42nd, and BEL ranked 66th, increasing by 1.5% and 4%, respectively.
In a statement SIPRI said,
In 2020, the Indian Government announced a phased ban on imports of more than a hundred different types of military equipment to support domestic companies and enhance self-reliance in arms production.
Meanwhile, with a 13% share of total top 100 arms sales, Chinese arms companies had the second-highest volume of aggregated arms sales in 2020, behind US firms and ahead of British companies.
In other news, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has urged MSMEs to invest in defence sector. Around 12,000 MSMEs have joined the defence industry due to the government’s initiatives, he added.
Reiterating the government’s focus on encouraging exports, the minister expressed hopes that India will soon become a net exporter from a net importer.
We will keep you updated on the latest developments from this space. Stay tuned.
Speaking of the defence sector, have a look at the chart below which shows the top 5 military spending countries in the world as of 2019:
According to a SIPRI report, India was the third largest military spending country in the world in 2019.
Here's what we wrote about it in one of the editions of Profit Hunter:
If you look at the chart closely, you will realise it is likely to remain among the top spenders in the coming years.
It's because of the second largest spender shown in the chart, China.
With rising tensions between the two countries, the incentive is strong for India to keep up with China.
It all makes sense for the government to focus on this sector in a big way in the near future.
The government's 'Atmanirbhar' push will get a massive boost through local defence manufacturing. This will create profitable opportunities in defence stocks for astute investors.
Co-head of Research at Equitymaster, Tanushree Banerjee keeps a close watch on stocks in the defence space. As per Tanushree, defence will be a big wealth-creating opportunity.