Barring Japan (up 0.6%), the major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a negative note with stock markets in Hong Kong(down 1.1%) and China (down 2.9%) leading the losses. The Indian share market indices have also opened the day on a weak note. The sectoral indices have opened mixed with software and technology stocks leading the gains. However, the stocks in the metal and FMCG space witnessed maximum losses.
The Sensex today is down by around 32 points (0.2%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 18 points (0.3%). The mid cap and small cap stocks have also opened in the red with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices down by around by around 0.4% and 0.1% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.98 to the US dollar.
The stocks in the energy sector have opened the day on a mixed note with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) leading the gains. However, Petronet LNG Ltd and Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) are leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, the total plan outlay for petroleum sector in FY14 is around Rs 791 bn. Among the major oil and gas firms, state run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) is planning to invest over Rs 350 bn in exploration and production of oil and gas in the next fiscal year. The amount is around 4% higher than the capital capex in 2012-13. The proposed expenditure will be funded by company's internal resources. Meanwhile, GAIL has planned capital expenditure of Rs 75 bn next fiscal, up 11.4% on a year on year (YoY) basis. This includes Rs 44 bn in its core gas transmission and marketing business and another Rs 31 bn on its petrochemical expansion. The planned capex for BPCL is around Rs 35 bn (up 128% YoY), while Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) will be spending around Rs 37 bn (up 17% YoY).
The stocks in the cement sector have opened the day on a mixed note with Prism Cement Ltd and Madras Cements Ltd leading the gains. However, Ultratech Cement Ltd and ACC Ltd witnessed maximum losses. As per a leading financial daily, Ultratech Cement has temporarily shut down its Awarpur plant in Maharashtra on account of workers' unrest. As per the management, there was reportedly some manhandling between office bearers at the plant and security men because of which workers have stopped working. The management has initiated an inquiry into the matter. The plant has 3.6 million tonne (MT) production capacity. As per the management, the closure will not have a substantial impact on the company's financials. Ultratech Cement has 12 integrated cement manufacturing plants in India and is the single largest cement maker in the country with an annual capacity of over 50 MT.