The weak closing by US markets yesterday is keeping Asian indices subdued today. Most Asian indices are trading with no clear direction in early afternoon trades. The Japanese Nikkei is moderately weak while the South Korea and Singapore are trading with modest gains.
Indian markets also had a very subdued opening as most traders and institutional investors are waiting for the budget.
The Sensex opened with marginal gains at 10257 and saw a high of 10272. The index is trading lower by 20 points at 10223 at 11.10 AM.
The Nifty opened at 3062 and drifted to a low of 3046 in early trades. The index is trading lower by 7 points at 3055.
Cement stocks are having a good session on reports of rising cement prices. Grasim has added close to 2 per cent while Gujarat Ambuja and ACC are trading more than a per cent each higher.
Many of the losers among frontline stocks yesterday have recovered in early trades today. IPCL has added close to 2.5 per cent and is the biggest gainer among index stocks.
SCI, which was the biggest loser yesterday, has added over 1.5 per cent. MTNL, another major loser of recent days, is trading 2 per cent higher.
PSU banks are having a good early session with both SBI and PNB trading with gains of close to 1.5 per cent each.
Among the FMCG stocks, Tata Tea and Dabur are maintaining the up trend with gains of around a per cent each.
ABB, Reliance Energy, Tata Chemicals and VSNL are the other gainers among index stocks in early trades.
Hero Honda is the biggest loser among index stocks, trading more than 2 per cent lower.
Pharma stocks are weak today as well. Dr. Reddy's is the biggest loser among pharma stocks, trading nearly 2 per cent lower. Cipla, Ranbaxy and Sun Pharma have lost close to a per cent each.
HDFC Bank is continuing the decline from yesterday and is trading nearly 1.5 per cent lower.
Select IT stocks are weak in early trades. Wipro and Satyam have lost over a per cent each.
ONGC, ITC and Nalco are among the large cap stocks trading lower today.
Mid-caps are doing much better than the frontline stocks and the mid-cap index is trading with decent gains in early trades. Market breadth is reasonably positive.
Reliance Energy Ventures, the holding company of Reliance Energy, got listed on the exchanges today. The stock opened at Rs48.9 on the NSE and declined from those levels to a low of Rs42.85. The stock is now trading at Rs44.1.
Large block deals have been reported in UTI Bank. It is rumoured that global banking major HSBC has offloaded a 4 per cent stake in the private sector bank.
Softpro Solutions, Kernex Microsystems and Zodiac JRD are among the major gainers in mid-caps.
Alfa Laval, Gujarat Gas and Noida Toll are among the mid-cap losers.