The Indian markets have started today's session on a negative note. The benchmark indices opened above the breakeven mark but soon slipped into the red. They have not managed to emerge out of the negative territory since then. Other key Asian markets are in the red with China (down 0.8%) leading the pack of losers. The US markets closed higher by 0.1% yesterday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading weak with metal and banking majors facing the brunt of selling activity. The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by around 41 points, while the NSE-Nifty is down by about 16 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 0.4% and 0.6% respectively. The rupee is trading at 45.71 to the US dollar.
Energy stocks have opened the day on a negative note. Losers here include Castrol and Gujarat Gas. As per a leading business daily, GAIL plans a capex of Rs 80 bn in FY11 mostly towards expanding its pipeline network. The company plans to add 1,200 km of pipeline in the current financial year on the back of an addition of 800 km in FY10. Given the large amount of capex involved, the company plans to borrow Rs 35 bn this fiscal to meet its funding needs. Rs 5 bn will be raised in Rupee denominated bonds, with an option of issuing further bonds to the extent of 50%, if demand is strong.
Another US$ 150 m will be raised in foreign currency bonds. The company has 7,200 km of natural gas pipelines with a capacity of 148 m cubic metres a day. It aims to add another 8,200 km by FY14. As a result, the company will invest Rs 353 bn by FY14 funded by debt to the tune of Rs 200 bn. It may be noted that with the arrival of KG basin gas on the scene, India's pipeline infrastructure needs to expand to meet the growing need for transporting natural gas.
Metal stocks have opened the day on a negative note. Losers here include Hindalco and Hindustan Zinc. NALCO announced its 4QFY10 results. The company reported a topline growth of 44% in 4QFY10 on the back of firm aluminium prices. Its operating margin expanded to 33% during 4QFY10, up from 8.5% in 4QFY09 due to lower raw material and staff cost, as a percentage of sales. However, other income declined by 39% YoY. The company's bottomline zoomed more than four-fold on the back of higher margins. For the full year, the company reported a topline decline of 1.4% YoY, while bottomline declined 34.6% YoY due to lower margins and higher depreciation.