The Indian equity markets continued to remain volatile and traded mostly in the red during the second half of the trading session after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its first Bi-monthly Monetary Policy Statement, 2015-16 kept the policy repo rate unchanged at 7.5%. Also, the cash reserve ratio (CRR) was unchanged at 4%. The RBI also held out some caution on the inflation front, saying that it could rise to as much as 5.8% by the year-end. Majority of the sectoral indices are trading weak barring the Metals and Consumer Durables sector.
BSE-Sensex is trading with loss of 10 points, while NSE-Nifty is trading lower by 5 points. S&P BSE Midcap and S&P BSE Smallcap have bucked the trend and are trading up by 0.7% and 1.3% respectively. Rupee was trading Rs 62.33 to the US dollar at the time of writing.
Auto stocks traded on a mixed note with Escorts and Bajaj Auto leading the gains, while Tata Motors and Hero Motocorp witnessed maximum selling activity. According to a leading financial daily, India's largest bus and truck maker Tata Motors and the Tata group's private equity fund Tata Capital are looking to sell their 90% stake in auto designer Tata Technologies. Tata Motors owns around 70.43% of the unit, while various Tata Group companies including Tata Capital hold a 17.36% stake. The rest is owned by employees of Tata Technologies through stock options. Reportedly, the stake sale by Tata Motors is part of its plan to liberate some capital from its non-core business to invest in its core business within India. Tata Motors plans to launch more than 100 new commercial vehicles until 2018 and two new products every year in the passenger vehicle segment.
According to a leading financial daily, the Oil Ministry has allowed national oil companies ONGC and Oil India Ltd to sell any new natural gas supplies from their small and isolated fields through an open tender. Companies will fix minimum price for their gas, which would be the prevailing government-determined rate, and ask interested buyers to offer more through bidding. Reportedly, fields whose peak production is less than 0.1 million standard cubic meters per day (mmscmd) and have a gas pressure which is less than the grid pressure have also been defined as small/isolated fields. ONGC and Oil India have several such discoveries, which cumulatively produce around 3-4 mmscmd, enough to generate about 900 MW electricity.