The Indian markets have started today’s session on a negative note. The benchmark indices opened below the breakeven mark and slipped further into the red. Despite a fight back, they have not managed to breach the dotted line since then. Other key Asian markets are trading in the red with China (down 2.3%) leading the pack of losers. The US markets closed marginally higher yesterday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading weak with banking and metal majors facing the brunt of selling activity. The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by around 28 points, while the NSE-Nifty is down by about 6 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 44.39 to the US dollar.
Energy stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include ONGC and Gujarat Gas. ONGC has reported an ultimate oil and gas reserve accretion of 87 m tonnes for FY10. It may be noted that ultimate reserves is a geological concept of oil and gas that can be theoretically supposed to exist in a given field. It does not take into account technical, economic or time constraints. The accretion is due to discoveries in Assam, Krishna Godavari onland, Kutch offshore and Mumbai offshore. The company produced 25 m tonnes of crude oil and 23 bn cubic meters of gas in FY10. It may be noted that the company faces the challenge of maintaining production levels from its ageing oil and gas fields in India. As a result, a key area of focus for the company is acquiring oil and gas assets abroad.
FMCG stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Godrej Consumer and Colgate. Godrej Consumer announced its 4QFY10 results. The company reported topline growth of 47% YoY during the quarter on the back of strong growth in its overseas business as well as due to the inclusion of the financials of Godrej Sara Lee Ltd. Operating margin improved by 0.7% YoY due to lower raw material and staff costs, partially offset by higher advertising expenditure and higher other expenditure. Net profit for FY10 grew by 96% YoY due to higher topline growth, higher other income and lower interest outgo. The strong growth is due to a stronger presence in smaller towns as well as the launch of several new offerings.