Indian equity markets shed their initial gains during the previous two hours of trade. The most noticeable upward movements were witnessed in the consumer durables and IT while banking and auto faced the maximum selling pressures.
At the time of writing, the BSE-Sensex was down by 55 points and NSE-Nifty was down by 4 points. BSE Mid Cap index was trading higher by 0.02% while BSE Small Cap index was trading lower by 0.13%. The rupee was trading at 54.14 to the US dollar.
Energy shares were trading on a mixed note with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL) and Castrol leading the pack, while Cairn India and Chennai Petroleum faced the maximum selling pressures. According to a leading financial daily, Hindustan Petroleum Corporate Ltd (HPCL) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Government of Rajasthan to set up a 9 million tonnes a year refinery in the state. The refinery is expected to be up and running within four years after getting approval from the government and will cost about Rs 342.3 bn. The plant will be set up in collaboration with Rajasthan State Refinery Ltd and will be located in the Barmer district. The plant will use crude produced locally in Rajasthan as well as other crudes with a primary objective of producing motor fuels. The news comes at a time when HPCL's plan of setting up a 9 million tonnes a year plant in Ratnagiri, Maharashtra got derailed because of environmental issues. HPCL's stock was trading up by 0.02%.
Private Bank stocks were trading on a mixed note with Dhanalaxmi Bank and ING Vyasa Bank leading the gains while HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank witnessed the maximum selling pressures. According to a leading business daily, India's top private sector banks, viz., HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank said that they were investigating allegations made in sting by independent investigative journalist, Aniruddha Bahal of Cobrapost, about the widespread money laundering practices at their branches. Bahal, founder and editor-in-chief of Indian news and opinion website Cobrapost.com, said he had collected hundreds of hours of video recordings from "dozens and dozens" of bank branches across the country. The spokespersons from each of these banks expressed deep concerns about the allegations and would give serious attention to probe the matter. Axis Bank's stock was trading down by 0.54%.