Barring Taiwan (down 0.1%), the major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a positive note with stock markets in Japan (up 1.2%) and Indonesia (up 0.4%) leading the gains. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a flat note. The sectoral indices have opened on a mixed note with stocks in the FMCG and oil and gas leading the losses. However, the software and power sector have opened in the green.
The Sensex today is down by around 1 point, while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 4 points (0.1%). The mid cap and small cap stocks have opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around by around 0.5% and 0.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.16 to the US dollar.
The stocks in the auto sector have opened the day on a mixed note with Bharat Forge Ltd and Tata Motors Ltd leading the gains. However, Hero Motocorp Ltd and Bajaj Auto Ltd have opened in the red. As per a leading financial daily, Competition Commission of India (CCI) may soon pass an order against 17 leading automobile manufacturers. This is for allegedly using their dominant position to sell spare parts only through authorized dealers that has led to high prices in the market. The car makers have been accused of insisting that their customers to go to authorized dealers for repairs. This leads to an increase in service and maintenance costs of vehicles. The auto companies that are expected to be penalized include the likes of Tata Motors Ltd and Maruti Suzuki Ltd, besides some foreign players. CCI is in final stage of preparing the order and it could be expected sometime in the month of March 2013. Any ruling against the car makers is likely result in hefty penalties to be paid by the auto manufacturers.
The stocks in the energy sector have opened the day mainly in the red with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Oil India Ltd leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) has refused to share the cost of further exploration in Cairn India Ltd operated Rajasthan block. ONGC has a 30% stake in the block. As per the management, ONGC has no objection on further exploration of the block. However, as per the production sharing contract (PSC), ONGC's involvement comes only after commercial discoveries are made. As per PSC, it has the right not to participate in the exploration programme. An executive involved in the project has said that ONGC's decision to participate will not impact the exploration programme. Cost recovery of all exploration expenses will be recoverable from future discoveries. ONGC will have the option to back in and acquire 30% production interest in any discovery at the later stage.