Despite buying interest in banking and IT stocks, the key indices in Indian equity markets succumbed to profit booking in commodity stocks in the final hours of the session today. After a positive start, the indices slipped into the negative territory at the end of the session. While the BSE-Sensex closed lower by 51 points, the NSE-Nifty closed lower by 19 points. The BSE Mid Cap index lost 0.5% and the BSE Small Cap index ended flat.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today while European indices have opened flat to positive. The rupee was trading at Rs 54.05 to the dollar at the time of writing.
As per a business daily, the government is planning to allow gas-powered power projects to import the fuel and pass on the incremental costs as higher charges. The plan, similar to the one being worked out for coal-based power projects, is in the initial stages and will help stranded gas-fuelled power generation capacity languishing in the country, thereby boost the flagging economic growth. The new gas price will be around US$ 8.4 per million British thermal units (mmBtu). The current price of domestic gas in India ranges between US$ 3.5 and US$ 5.73 per mmBtu. Imported natural gas costs around US$ 14 per mmBtu.
In addition, the Power Ministry is also working on a so-called peaking power policy for gas that will encourage power distribution companies (discoms) to invite bids from generation utilities for meeting power shortages during peak consumption hours. These initiatives are expected to ease out the fuel shortages being faced by power generators currently.
Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), the leader in the Indian commercial vehicle segment segment, has launched a new product - 'Bolero Maxi Truck Plus' in Gujarat. The Bolero Maxi Truck Plus has been conceptualized to cater to the needs of urban goods transportation. Although the overall auto segment faced considerable headwinds during FY13, certain segments performed very well; utility vehicles (UVs) being one of them. Since M&M is the market leader in this space, the company benefitted significantly from this trend. M&M intends to keep up its pace of new launches both in the automotive and farm equipment sector over the next three years as well as managing capacities.