The BSE-Sensex is trading down by 77 points and NSE-Nifty is trading down by 32 points. BSE Mid cap and BSE Small cap indices too are trading down by 1.1% and 0.8% respectively. The rupee is trading at 49.25 to the US dollar.
Private banking stocks are trading weak led by Development Credit Bank and ICICI Bank. As per a leading daily, the Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) has instructed private banks to hike their priority sector lending (PSL) to 40%. This means a hike of 8% from the previous recommendation. This is being done to bring the private banks at par with the PSU banks. It also proposed a hike in education loan ceiling to Rs 5 lakh. A few other recommendations were made by PSL re-examining committee. These include doing away with the difference between direct and indirect lending to the farm sector. Foreign lenders will now have to lend 15% each to exporters and to medium and small scale enterprises (MSE). As per the committee chairman, the recommendations cannot be termed as anti-free trade. The recommendations are open for public comments till March 31, 2012.
Energy Stocks are trading strong led by Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL). As per a leading daily, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) will be setting up the country's first butyl rubber facility. RIL is looking at a joint venture (JV) with Sibur - a Russian petrochemical maker for this. RIL will have a 74.9% stake in this JV named Reliance Sibur Elastomers Pvt Ltd. The Indian energy company is aiming to establish the plant by the second half of fiscal 2014. It will require an investment of US$ 450 m and will come up at RIL's Jamnagar unit. It will have a capacity of 1 lakh tonnes a year. The partnership is likely to be the fourth largest supplier of butyl rubber in the world.