The Indian markets moved back into the positive territory as buying activity picked up during the post noon trading session. The BSE-Sensex closed with gains of about 41 points or 0.2%, while the NSE-Nifty ended higher by about 14 points or 0.2%. Stocks from the consumer durables and information technology spaces were amongst the top gainers, while those from the metal and power sectors were not in favour today. Stocks from the mid and smallcap spaces also ended with gains with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by about 0.3% and 0.1% respectively.
Stock markets in other parts of Asia traded weak with Hong Kong and China down by about 0.3% and 2% respectively, while Japan was up by about 1.4%. The rupee was trading at Rs 61.98 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Energy stocks closed mixed today, with Gujarat Gas and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL) ending the day on a firm note, while, Gujarat State Petronet closed on a negative note. It is reported that India's largest oil marketer, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is planning to buy Petronas' 10% stake in Canada's Progress Energy Resources' liquefied natural gas (LNG) assets. The company is expected to pay about US $900 m for the stake in a shale gas and LNG asset project. This move marks IOC's entry into the North American natural resources market. It is believed that IOC has been scouting for expanding its portfolio of exploration and production assets in recent times. While it had been in talks with the Petronas along with OIL India earlier, it seems to have made this move on its own this time. The stock of IOC closed higher by about 1.4% today.
Stocks of automobile companies ended the day on a firm note with Bajaj Auto and Tata Motors leading the pack of gainers. As reported by the Hindu Business Line, Mahindra and Mahindra is looking to market its electric vehicle - e20 - in neighboring country Bhutan. The company will be the second player to enter the market, after Nissan. As per the leading business daily, the country's government is looking to preserve its ecosystem which is why it has opted for introducing electric cars. Although the market size would be no where comparable to that of India's given than Bhutan's population is less than a million, this step will be more of a goodwill move for the company and act as a small example to push for similar action by the Indian government to promote electric cars in India, something which has failed to take off despite the availability of such vehicles earlier.