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Falling oil prices rattle markets
Tue, 6 Jan 09:30 am

The major Asian stock markets have opened the day in the red mainly on account of falling crude prices. The stock markets in Japan (down 2.6%) and Taiwan (down 2.1%) were leading the losses. The Indian share markets have opened on a negative note as well. All sectoral indices have opened in the red with the stocks in the metal and auto segments leading the losses.

The Sensex today is down by around 392 points (1.4%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by about 115 points (1.4%). The mid cap and small cap stocks have also opened in the red with BSE Mid Cap index and BSE Small Cap index down by 1.1% and 1.2% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 63.38 to the US dollar.

Barring Ashapura Minechem Ltd and Hindustan Zinc Ltd, the major mining stocks have opened in the red with Sesa Sterlite Ltd and Gujarat NRE Coke Ltd leading the losses. In a move to resist against government's plan to allow private companies to mine and sell coal, five major trade unions have shut down production at all coalfields of Coal India Limited for five days starting today. The strike is expected to lead to a production loss of up to 1.5 million tonnes a day. The management of Coal India Limited or CIL has appealed to the unions not to go on strike as it will severely impact the power production across the country. It is noteworthy here that Coal India Limited alone accounts for about 80 % of India's total output.

Stocks in the telecom sector have opened mainly in the red with Tata Teleservices Ltd and Himachal Futuristic Ltd leading the losses. However, Reliance Communications Ltd and MTNL were trading in the green. The Cabinet has recently approved the largest ever telecom spectrum auction which is likely to fetch around Rs 648 bn. The government will sell 380.75 megahertz (MHz) of second generation (2G) spectrum in the premium 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz and 800 MHz bands in February 2015. Spectrum in 2,100 MHz is also likely to be auctioned simultaneously after the defence ministry vacates it. Further, the Cabinet has approved a reserve price of Rs 36.5 bn pan-India per MHz in 800 MHz, Rs 39.8 bn for 900 MHz band pan-India, excluding Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and J&K

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