The Sensex today is up by around 102 points (0.6%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 25 point (0.4%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.1% and 0.2% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.63 to the US dollar.
Oil & gas stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, state-run oil marketing companies (OMCs) have cut petrol prices by Rs 1.2 per litre effective from today. Falling international crude oil prices have resulted in this third cut in just one month. Previously, petrol prices were reduced by Rs 2.4 per litre on March 15, 2013 and by Rs 1.02 per litre on April 02, 2013. The OMCs have, however, decided to keep diesel prices unchanged. It is worth noting that in January this year the Union Cabinet had allowed state-run OMCs to increase diesel prices in a staggered manner by about 50 paise every month. This would gradually enable eliminating the revenues losses incurred by the OMCs. On account of declining international oil prices, revenue losses on diesel have come down from Rs 8.19 per litre a month ago to about Rs 6.5 per litre currently. To put things in perspective, India imports more than 80% crude oil it processes.
Power stocks have also opened the day on a firm note with Tata Power, Indiabulls Power and Reliance Power leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has given permission to Tata Power to raise tariffs for power produced from the Mundra ultra mega power project (UMPP). The apex power sector regulator has directed five state governments to compensate the power company for the losses it incurred on account of importing costly coal for its 4,000 megawatt UMPP. This decision is set to impact consumers in five states- Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. Tata Power had signed power purchase agreements to sell power at Rs 2.2 per unit with these five states. However, changes in Indonesian coal regulation resulted in significant increases in fuel costs. If not compensated, it would have resulted in losses of Rs 18.7 bn annually. It must be noted that earlier during the month, the power sector regulator had passed a similar ruling that directed the states of Haryana and Gujarat to compensate Adani Power for its costly coal imports for 2,424 MW of capacity at Mundra.