Indian stock markets lost further ground during the last two hours of trade on the back of persistent selling activity across index heavyweights. All sectoral indices are trading weak except for IT stocks.
The BSE-Sensex is trading down by 205 points and NSE-Nifty is trading down by 73 points. BSE Mid cap and BSE Small cap indices too are trading down by 1.1% and 0.9% respectively. The rupee is trading at 50.20 to the US dollar.
Banking stocks have been trading in the red led by Andhra Bank and Syndicate Bank. Post a 0.75% cut in the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) last week, Reserve Bank of India has kept policy unchanged today. For scheduled banks also, the CRR will remain unchanged at 4.75%. The short term lending rate (Repo) now stands at 7.5%. As a result, the reverse repo rate under the Liquidity Adjustment Facility (LAF) will remain unchanged at 7.5 %, the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank Rate at 9.5 %. The current stance indicates that RBI does not feel the need of tightening at this point. In its mid quarter review statement, RBI had suggested that inflation risks do exist despite deceleration in growth which will influence both timing and magnitude of future rate actions.
Energy stocks have been trading mixed with Indraprastha Gas Ltd and Gas Authority Of India Ltd. (GAIL) leading the gainers while Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC) and Essar Oil are the biggest losers. As per a leading financial daily, Petronet LNG's (PLL) Kochi terminal is likely to be commissioned by the December 2012. The terminal was earlier expected to be ready by July 2012. However, there has been a delay on account of extension in the capacity by another 2.5 Million Metric Tonnes per Annum (MMPTA). It started with 2.5 MMTPA, so the final capacity will be 5 MMTPA. PLL will be sourcing liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Australia by 2015 for its plant. It will also purchase about 1.5 million tonnes from Gorgon, apart from sourcing on a short term basis from other sources. Regarding the proposed 1,200-MW (Megawatt) gas-based power plant which PLL was planning to set up in joint venture partnership with the state government, the company believes it is feasible and has suggested Government to allocate to it the land close to terminal so that it can be integrated with the terminal for higher efficiency. As per the management, the government has agreed in-principle to the suggestions .The proposal is to have a joint venture company with a gestation of 3 to 4 years and an estimated project cost of Rs 30-40 bn.