The major Asian equity markets have opened on a mixed note with China (up 1.8%) and Hong Kong (up 0.7%) leading the pack of gainers. However, Japan (down 0.8%) and Malaysia (down 0.7%) were leading the losses. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a negative note. The sectoral indices have opened mixed with stocks in the auto and banking sectors leading the losses. However, the stocks in technology and consumer durables sector have opened on a firm note.
The Sensex today is down by around 51 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 14 points (0.2%). Mid and small cap stocks are however trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by 0.1% each. The rupee is trading at Rs 53.97 to the US dollar.
Energy stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) and Essar Oil Ltd leading the gains. However, Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd (CPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) are seeing losses. As per a leading financial daily, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation's (ONGC) crude oil production has declined by around 5.8% year on year (YoY) for the year ended March 31, 2013. The decline is on account of lower output from its Mumbai High oil fields, poor influx, increase in water cut and power shutdowns. The crude oil production in 2012-13 stands at 20.485 million tonne (MT), as compared to the target of 21.64 MT set for the year. Of the total, Mumbai Highfields produced 9.55 MT of oil, down 4.3% YoY. However, the natural gas production for the year was marginally higher at 23.54 billion cubic metres (BCM), up by around 1% YoY. During 2012-13, ONGC has made 22 oil and gas discoveries - 12 new prospects and the remaining new pool discoveries. Besides, ONGC has drilled 432 wells during the year, up from 417 wells in the previous financial year.
Auto stocks have also opened the day mainly in the red with Tube Investments Ltd and Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd leading the losses. In a positive development for India's leading two-wheeler manufacturer Bajaj Auto Ltd, the Chennai bench of the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has dismissed an appeal filed by the company's competitor LML Ltd. The appeal was regarding cancelling of a patent granted to Bajaj Auto on air & fuel intake systems for engines used in two-wheelers that leads to improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. It was in 2007 that LML appealed IPAB for revoking Bajaj Auto Ltd's patent, arguing that the invention was not new but just a minor rearrangement of technology in the public domain. As per a leading daily, LML is likely to challenge IPAB's verdict by filing a writ petition at the Madras High Court.