Indian stock markets continued to shed initial gains over the last two hours of the trade and are trading flat. Amongst the sectors, IT and realty are the biggest losers while banking and pharma sector are trading the strongest.
The BSE-Sensex is trading up by 15 points and NSE-Nifty is trading up by 3 points. BSE Mid cap and BSE Small cap indices too are trading up by 0.05% and 0.13% respectively. The rupee is trading at 49.49 to the US dollar.
All the aluminium stocks are trading in green with National Aluminium Company Ltd. (NALCO) up 0.9% and Hindustan Aluminium Company (Hindalco) up 0.5%. As per a leading financial daily, NALCO has raised prices of all its products by Rs 1,500 per tonne in line with the international market. The price of aluminium ingots after the hike has risen to Rs 1, 42,200 per tonne. Reportedly the company had offered discount of Rs 1500 per tonne on major categories of aluminium products which was effective until 29 February. Nalco reported a marginal topline growth of 0.4% YoY during the quarter ended December 2011. This was due to lower selling prices of alumina and aluminium. Sales volume growth also declined due to stock build up.
Energy stocks have been trading mixed with Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals (MRPL) and Gujarat Gas (GGAS) leading the gainers and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC) trading the weakest. The sale of 5% stake by the Government in ONGC has received a tepid overall response. The auction offer managed to sail through with a last minute rescue from public sector banks (PSBs) and Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC). The auction process was technical glitch ridden and just 98.3% of total shares offered for sale were taken up. The proceeds from the offer are estimated at Rs 120 bn. The lack of enthusiasm can be traced back to lack of a clear subsidy sharing mechanism and a high floor price (Rs 290 per share) set for the auction. Post auction, the stock has been trading in the red.