The Indian stock markets continued to trade below the dotted line on account of sustained selling pressure among the index heavyweights. Stocks from energy and IT spaces are leading the pack of losers, while power stocks are trading higher today.
The BSE Sensex is trading down 43 points and the NSE-Nifty is trading down 7 points. However, the BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 0.4% and the BSE Small Cap index is trading up 0.2%. The rupee is trading at 60.7 to the US dollar.
Automobile stocks are trading mixed today. While Ashok Leyland and TVS Motors are trading higher, Force Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) are trading on a weak note. As per a leading business daily, on the back of higher inputs and operational costs, companies like M&M, Honda Cars India and Tata Motors are expected to raise prices of their car models from next month. As such, M&M has been contemplating an increase in car prices off late and is expected to raise it during April on account of rise in input costs. However, it is yet to take final decision on the quantum of price increase. Tata Motors is also believed to increase the price of passenger vehicles in the range of 1% to 2%. It may be noted that M&M and Honda Cars had reduced its cars prices after the reduction of excise duty earlier. However, the rise in input and operational costs have prompted the companies to increase the vehicle prices.
Most energy stocks are trading weak today. Oil India and Reliance Industries are the major losers. As per the BSE filing, state-run oil & gas major ONGC plans to invest USD 406 m in Arabian sea oil field. It is expected to invest about Rs 24.8 billion for development of its Vasai East oil and gas field in to the Arabian sea. The project is expected to improve the Vasai East field's recovery factor. Through the investment the company expects the field to generate an incremental oil production of 1.8 million metric tonnes and gas production of about 2 bn cubic meters by 2030 once the project gets completed by 2018. The stock of ONGC is trading down by 2.2% today.