The Indian markets extended their losses in the mid-session as equities continue to lose investors' attention. Almost all sectoral indices are trading with moderate losses; however Realty sector has under-performed the most with nearly 2.3% losses. IT sector is trading with moderate gains of about 0.3%.
Majority of the energy stocks are trading on a negative note with Cairn India and BPCL leading the pack of losers. According to a leading financial source, Cairn India plans to treble natural gas production from its predominantly oil-rich Rajasthan block to 3 million standard cubic meters per day by mid-2018. In an application to the downstream regulator Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) seeking approval to lay a pipeline to Gujarat for transporting gas, Cairn stated it plans to drill a minimum of 42 more wells to augment and sustain the gas supply in the next three years. Cairn said it is further developing the field "on a fast track-basis" to increase the gas production from the block to cater to the significant unmet demand for gas in the country.
According to a leading financial daily, steel imports by India surged by a whopping 71% to touch a record high of 9.31 million tonne in 2014-15 compared to 5.45 million tonne, putting pressure on the already squeezed margins of domestic firms. Due to rising imports from countries like China, Japan and Russia, domestic steel industry is struggling to retain margins. Steel imports to India attract duties between 5% and 7.5%. Domestic industry has been clamoring for raising the duty to at least 10%. Among steel sector, Jindal Steel and JSW steel are the leading gainers.