The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in South Korea (down 0.1%) and Hong Kong (down 0.1%) leading the losses. However, the stock markets in Japan (up 1.3%) and Singapore (up 0.6%) were leading the gains. The Indian share markets indices have opened the day on a positive note. Barring auto and FMCG, all sectoral indices have opened in the green with stocks in the metal and capital goods space leading the pack of gainers.
The Sensex today is up by around 44 points (0.2%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by 20 points (0.3%). Mid and small cap stocks have also opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.5% and 0.6% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.29 to the US dollar.
Energy stocks have opened the day mainly in the green with Petronet LNG Ltd and Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) leading the gains. However, Oil India Ltd (OIL) and Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) are leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, state owned ONGC is eyeing a producing field in Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) member Nigeria for up to US$2 bn. ONGC's overseas arm ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) has signed a confidentiality agreement for the possible acquisition of 25-30% stake in four blocks in Nigeria from Sterling Energy and Exploration Production Company (SEEPCO), a privately held Indian firm that operates the blocks. ONGC, which is aggressively seeking stakes in foreign petroleum assets to boost India's energy security, already produces nearly 9 million tonnes (MT) of oil and gas a year from foreign fields. It is targeting a six-fold increase in production from overseas fields in the next two decades.
Steel stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Tata Sponge Ltd and JSW Ispat Ltd leading the gains. However, Tayo Rolls Ltd and Adhunik Metaliks Ltd are leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, the Government has changed its original plan to offload 10.82 % in Steel Authority of India Ltd ( SAIL) on poor market conditions. It is now believed to have fixed Rs 66 per share as the floor price for selling just 5.82 % stake in the steel major. At Wednesday's closing price, the stake sale is expected to rake in about Rs 15.8 bn if subscribed fully. The issue is scheduled for Friday through offer for sale (OFS) route. It will be second disinvestment this month where the government has cut the issue size on account of adverse market conditions that may not help it realize original targets.