The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on positive note with China (up 2.1%) and Hong Kong (up 0.7%) leading the gains. However, Japan (down 1.6%) and Singapore (down 0.01%) are in the red. The Indian stock markets have opened on a firm note. All the sectoral indices have opened in the green with power and capital goods stocks leading the pack of gainers.
The Sensex today is up by around 165 points (0.58%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 48 points (0.0.57%). The mid cap and small cap stocks have also opened in the green with BSE Mid Cap index and BSE Small Cap index up by 0.59% and 0.49% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 63.32 to the US dollar.
As per a financial daily, the government has raised excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2 per litre each. However, the retail pump rates will not be increased. Reportedly, this is the third excise duty hike by the government since November and will help to raise revenues of approximately Rs 60 bn during the remaining three months of the current fiscal. The government has taken the advantage of sharp fall in the global oil prices. This will help in shoring up some revenues without stoking inflation.
As reported in a financial daily, the Reserve Bank of India has liberalised norms on external commercial borrowings (ECBs). The new norms will increase the choice of security that companies can provide while taking forex loans. Companies can provide immovable and movable assets, financial securities and personal guarantee to overseas banks while borrowing ECBs. Reportedly, the said decision by RBI was taken with a view to liberalizing and expanding the options of securities and further consolidating various provisions related to creation of charge over securities for ECB at one place.