The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in Japan (down 1.5%) and Taiwan (down 0.5%) leading the losses. However, the stock markets in China (up 0.4%) and Hong Kong (up 0.1%) have opened in the green. The Indian share markets have opened on flat note. The sectoral indices have opened mixed with the stocks in the FMCG and metal sectors leading the losses. However, stocks in the auto and software sectors were leading the gains.
The Sensex today is down by around 10 points (0.04%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 9 points (0.1%). However, the mid cap and small cap stocks have opened in the green with BSE Mid Cap index and BSE Small Cap index up by 0.3% and 0.4% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 62.13 to the US dollar.
Barring Cairn India Ltd and Gujarat State Petronet Ltd , the energy stock have opened mainly in the green with Oil India Ltd and GAIL (India) Ltd leading the gains. The oil prices have touched fresh lows and have dipped below US$ 45 per barrel as the OPEC has signaled that it has no intentions to cut production. At current levels, the oil is trading at the lowest levels since April 2009. The energy minister for the United Arab Emirates, a member of OPEC has recently reaffirmed the position of OPEC's Arab Gulf members that cutting down production would only erode their market share and benefit competitors, such as shale drillers in the US. Oil prices are also likely to remain under pressure with US stocks possibly approaching 80% of capacity by the upcoming spring season, as per US-based PIRA Energy Group.
PSU Banking stocks have opened mixed with Corporation Bank Ltd and Bank of Maharashtra Ltd leading the gains. However, United Bank of India and Punjab & Sind Bank were facing selling pressure. As per a leading financial daily, Jet Airways' main promoter and Chairman Mr. Naresh Goyal has pledged his entire shareholding in the carrier of 51 %, valued at over Rs 26 bn, to state-run Punjab National Bank (PNB) with a "non-disposal undertaking". The reason for pledging of shares was not disclosed. UAE based Etihad holds 24 % stake in Jet as a strategic partner while the remaining shares are owned by institutional and retail investors. It is noteworthy here that Jet Airways is a loss making airline and carries a debt of Rs 98 bn (as on September 2014). The amount of money borrowed by the airline from PNB has not been disclosed by the airline.