The Indian markets ended the day on a firm note today, with the BSE-Sensex closing higher by 140 points or 0.5%. The NSE-Nifty closed higher by 37 points or 0.4%. Barring stocks from the IT space, buying was seen across the board with power and consumer durables stocks leading the pack. Mid and smallcaps were in favour today as well with their representative indices ending higher by about 0.5% and 0.8% respectively.
Barring China (down 8%), Asian markets ended the day on a firm note; European stocks were trading mix at the time of writing. The Rupee was trading at 61.7 to the Dollar.
Oil and gas stocks ended the day on a firm note with GAIL, Reliance Industries and Cairn India leading the pack of gainers. As reported by the Business Standard, Reliance Industries is looking to cut investments in its three US shale ventures given the lower energy prices. The company is looking to optimize its operating and capital expenditures in these ventures, which were expected to contribute to the company's profitability in the current year. As per the business daily, the amount invested in these businesses stood at about US$ 8 bn till date, with the capex for the quarter ended December 2014 being about US$ 260 m.
In the quarter gone by the price of crude has declined by over 40% while gas prices have declined by a fourth. However, as per the company, production volumes at these units remains strong, thus helping maintain financial performance as higher volumes offset the sharp decline in prices.
Mining stocks ended the day on a firm note led by Hindustan Zinc and NMDC. Coal India is aiming to increase its production to 1 bn tonnes per annum by 2020. For this, the company is identifying key projects to help it achieve the target. It may be noted that this is not a new approach for the company as a large portion of the current output comes from a handful of opencast mines. As reported by the Hindu Business Line, the projects would be brought under a comprehensive development plan and will be kept under close monitoring of the Coal Ministry. During 1HFY15, the company produced a total of 211 m tonnes, a figure higher by 5% YoY as compared to corresponding period last year. Coal production during FY14, stood at 462 m tonnes.