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Markets open in a sea of red
Fri, 21 May 09:30 am

The Indian markets have started today's session on an extremely negative note. The benchmark indices opened well below the breakeven mark and have not managed to pare their losses since then. Other key Asian markets are in the red with Indonesia (down 3.2%) leading the pack of losers. The US markets closed lower by 3.6% yesterday.

Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading weak with auto, construction and metal majors facing the brunt of selling activity. The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by around 240 points, while the NSE-Nifty is down by about 70 points. Selling is also being witnessed among mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading lower by 2.1% and 2.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at 47.07 to the US dollar.

Energy stocks have opened the day on a negative note. Losers here include Cairn India and MRPL. As per a leading business daily, Indraprastha Gas (IGL) plans to increase CNG prices in the national capital region by about 20%. Currently CNG costs about Rs 22 per KG in Delhi. Since IGL is the sole supplier of CNG in the region, the fares of auto-rickshaws and buses which run on gas is set to increase. This move comes on the back of the government's decision to hike the price of administered price mechanism (APM) gas produced by ONGC and OIL from US$ 1.8 per m British thermal units (mBtu) to US$ 4.2 per mBtu. That is in line with prices of Reliance Industries' KG basin gas. IGL's current supply mix is 2.2 m standard cubic meters per day (mmscmd) of APM gas, 0.3 mmscmd of KG basin gas, and 0.4 mmscmd of regassified LNG. Since a bulk of IGL's gas supplies are sourced from APM gas, it had to choose between passing the cost to the customer and absorbing it. It may be noted that the city gas operator in Mumbai, Mahanagar Gas, is also dependent on APM gas and will thus have to take a similar call soon.

Stocks of financial institutions have opened today on a negative note. Losers here include LIC housing and ICRA. Power finance major REC has declared its FY10 results. It has posted a 38% YoY growth in income from operations in FY10, on the back of 30% YoY growth in advances. Advances grew on the back of a reasonable pick-up in demand for funding power projects and banks' reluctance to fund long term assets with their short term liabilities. Disbursements grew by 23% YoY, while approvals grew by 11% YoY in FY10. Net interest margin improved by 0.3% to 4% in FY10 due to lower funding costs. Non-interest income grew by just 4% YoY due to lower loan related fees. The institution reported a bottomline growth of 57% YoY in FY10 backed by lower provisioning cost. It declared a dividend of Rs 6.5 per share for FY10, including the interim dividend.

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Mar 23, 2018 (Close)