Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in Malaysia (down 1.9%) and Japan (down 1%) leading the losses. However, markets in Singapore (up 0.4%) and China (up 0.1%) are trading firm. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a firm note. Stocks in the oil and gas space are leading with hefty gains. However, IT and consumer durables stocks are trading in the red.
The Sensex today is up by around 76 points (0.4%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 15 points (0.3%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.4% each. The rupee is trading at Rs 53.67 to the US dollar.
Oil & gas stocks have opened the day on a strong note with Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) leading with substantial gains. As per a leading financial daily, ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the foreign investment subsidiary of Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has discovered oil at two places in the very first well on an onland block in Colombia. On testing, the company produced 120-300 barrels per day on the Block CPO-5. As per the company's statement, the oil is heavy in nature. It has an API (American Petroleum Institute) gravity of about 14. API gravity is a measure of how heavy or light a petroleum liquid is in comparison to water. As such, the company will take up extended production testing to assess the potential and commercial viability. It must be noted that OVL is the operator of exploration block CPO-5 located at the llanos basin of Colombia and holds 70% participating interest in the block.
Cement stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Birla Corporation and India Cements leading the gains. However, UltraTech Cement and Heidelberg Cement India Ltd are facing selling pressure. India's largest cement player UltraTech Cement has announced its financial results for the quarter ended December 2012 (3QFY13). During the quarter, the company's net sales stood at Rs 48,574 m, reporting a rise of 6.4% year-on-year (YoY). The company's operating profits grew by 6.3% YoY to Rs 10,162.6 m, almost in line with the rise in the topline. Operating margins remained unchanged at 20.9%. At the bottomline level, net profits during the quarter stood at Rs 6,008.1 m, lower by 2.6% YoY. The decline in the topline was attributable to 25.5% YoY decline in other income (including other operating income) and 85.3% YoY rise in interest expenses. Net margins declined from 13.5% in 3QFY12 to 12.4% in 3QFY13.