Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with the stock markets in Taiwan (up 0.7%) and China (up 0.4%) leading the gains. However, markets in Indonesia (down 0.4%) and Singapore (down 0.2%) are trading weak. The Indian share markets have opened the day on a weak note. The sectoral indices have opened mixed with stocks in the oil and gas space leading with significant losses. However, stocks in the FMCG and power space are trading firm.
The Sensex today is down by around 46 points (0.2%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by about 9 points (0.1%). However, mid and small cap stocks have opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.3% each. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 60.77 to the US dollar.
Oil and gas stocks have opened the day in the red with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Reliance Industries leading the pack of losers. As per a leading financial daily, the Election Commission has ordered deferment of the gas price hike that was scheduled to become effective from April 1, 2014. It must be noted that as per the new pricing regime, gas rates were set to increase to US$ 8.4 per million British thermal units (mBtu) from the current US$ 4.2 mBtu for all private and public sector natural gas producers. As per the Election Commission, the decision on the gas price hike must be left to the next government that comes to power after the general elections. The deferment of the gas price hike is set to impact gas producers such as Reliance Industries and ONGC.
Steel stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Maharashtra Seamless and Jindal Saw Ltd leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, a 25-acre plot of land belonging to steel major Tata Steel is believed to have fetched the highest bid of Rs 11.55 bn following a day-long e-auction yesterday. The plot of land, which is located in Borivli (East) near the Western Express Highway, is one of the biggest parcels of land in Mumbai. It has a development potential of 28 lakh sq ft or 40 lakh sq ft in case the developer submits a proposal for parking FSI. The onus of procuring regulatory permissions and clearances has been put on the winning bidder. It must be noted that property rates in Borivli are currently in the range of Rs 13,000 a sq ft.