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Indian stock markets open firm
Fri, 17 Feb 09:30 am

Most Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note with stock markets in Japan (up 1.8%) and South Korea (up 1.5%) leading the gains. However, the markets in China (down 0.2%) are facing selling pressure. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note. Stocks in the realty and capital goods space are leading the gains.

The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by 174 points (1%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 53 points (1%). Mid cap and small cap stocks are also trading firm with the BSE Mid cap and BSE Small cap indices up by 1.1% and 1.2% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 49.26 to the US dollar.

Energy stocks have opened the day on a high note with Petronet LNG, Gujarat State Petronet and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) leading the gains. However, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) are facing selling pressure. In a move to reduce bureaucratic delays, the government has empowered the exploration companies to choose their own customers. Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd. (OIL) will now be able to choose their own customers for gas produced in small fields. Small fields would include all those where output is less than 0.1 m standard cubic meters per day. This move by the government will help these companies generate more revenues expeditiously. As per the management of ONGC this move will help the company to monetise its assets quickly by finding local customers. Earlier the oil ministry used to specify the customers for the exploration companies.

Power stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Adani Power and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) trading in the green. As per a leading financial daily, India's largest power generation firm NTPC is set to award its Rs 160 bn bulk tender based on supercritical technology. This tender has been stuck for the past two years. NTPC had disqualified the consortium of Ansaldo Caldie and Gammon from Stage-1 bidding on the grounds that certain parts in the equipment were outsourced. The consortium had then taken NTPC to court. In March 2011, the Delhi High Court had upheld the plea against disqualification by NTPC for the bulk tender. However, the latest Supreme Court verdict has barred Ansaldo Caldie from bidding. NTPC will now be able to award all the nine units of 660 MW each.

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