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Lackluster start for the Indian stock markets 
(Wed, 21 Nov 09:30 am) 
The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in China (down 0.4%), Malaysia (down 0.2%) and Taiwan (down 0.2%) leading the losses in the region. However, the stock markets in Japan (up 1.1%), South Korea (up 0.3%) and Hong Kong (up 0.2%) have opened in the green. The Indian stock market indices have opened the day on a flat note. The sectoral indices have opened mixed with stocks in the software and consumer durables sector leading the pack of gainers. However, stocks in the power and realty sector witnessed selling pressure.

The Sensex today is down by around 2 points (0.0%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 4 points (0.1%). Mid and small cap stocks have opened in the red with BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices down by around 0.1% each. The rupee is trading at Rs 55.31 to the US dollar.

Energy stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Gujarat State Petronet Ltd (GSPL) and Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) leading the pack of gainers. However, Oil India Ltd (OIL) and Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC) have opened in the red. As per a leading financial daily, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) have put the plan to jointly develop a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in Mangalore on hold. It is important to note here that through this plant, BPCL had originally planned to bring in natural gas from its Mozambique block to Mangalore. However, both the Dabhol and Kochi terminals will be commissioned next year. While Mangalore will be well-connected by pipelines, however the extent of fuel volumes sold through the proposed terminal is under doubt. This has led the management to consider the viability of the Rs 50 bn proposed regasification plant.

PSU stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) and National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) leading the gains. However, Dredging Corporation Ltd and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) are witnessing selling pressure. As per a leading financial daily, Container Corporation of India (Concor) will be revising its chassis rail freight tariff with effect from December 01, 2012. The revision would be applicable for both domestic and EXIM (International segment) streams. The decision to hike rates has been taken since Indian Railways (IR) will revise the rates of haulage charges recoverable for movement of containers. The increase will be in two phases - a 22% increase from December 1, 2012 and another rise from February 1, 2013. Thus, with effect from February 2013 the charges will go up by up to 31% against current levels. It is important to note here that haulage charges that container train operators pay to the railways account for a little over 70% of their operating costs. For IR, this constitutes 4% of its total annual freight earnings. As per the company's management, the move is likely to make rail movements uncompetitive. The management will review tariff on a selective basis for specific routes to avoid driving away the customers.
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