The Indian markets have started today's session on a volatile note. The benchmark indices opened above the breakeven mark but slipped into the red and have struggled to return to the positive since then. Other key Asian markets are trading in the green with Taiwan (up 1%) leading the pack of gainers. The US markets closed higher by 0.4% yesterday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading a mixed bag with FMCG and auto stocks attracting investors' interest. However, metal stocks are in the red. The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by around 35 points, while the NSE-Nifty is down by about 14 points. However, buying interest is being witnessed among mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 0.1% and 0.2% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.41 to the US dollar.
Energy stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Cairn India and Gujarat Gas. As per a leading business daily, Petronet LNG is in talks with West Asian countries, including Qatar, to secure gas supply for its Kochi terminal. It may be noted that the company has already tied up for 1.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of gas for the terminal from the Gorgon project in Australia. However, the terminal can handle 1 mtpa of additional capacity. Qatar based Ras Gas will supply an additional 4 mtpa of LNG to the company by 2013. Out of this about 2.5 mtpa will be received by the company's Dabhol terminal and the balance by the Kochi terminal. However, the key question is the price. Till December, 2008 Ras Gas used to supply LNG at US$ 2.53 per m British thermal units (mBtu). However, prices are now linked to crude price movements and have reached US$ 7 per mBtu. That makes it hard to compete with domestic sources such as the gas from KG basin, whose landed cost is about US$ 6.7 per mBtu.
Engineering stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Suzlon and BHEL. As per a leading business daily, BHEL is planning to re-enter the wind turbine manufacturing space in the next three months. The company will join hands with a foreign technology partner for the same. BHEL's Ranipet unit will provide the fabrication facility for the manufacturing of towers and nossels. However, it will take another two years to set up a wind blade manufacturing facility near the existing unit. The company will produce 1.5 to 2 MW machines and will invest Rs 500 m for the foray. It may be noted that the company used to manufacture 250 KW wind turbine generators earlier and dropped it due to the lack of demand.