The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by 19 points and NSE-Nifty is trading up by 8 points. BSE Mid Cap is trading lower by 0.2% and BSE Small Cap is trading higher by 0.2%. The rupee is trading at 56.32 to the US dollar.
Energy stocks are trading strong led by Petronet LNG and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL). As per a leading financial daily, petrol prices have been hiked by Rs 7.5 per litre. Earlier, the petroleum minister had indicated such a move stating that import bills of oil are increasing on account of falling rupee. He had however not mentioned any specific timeline. With this announcement, the new prices came into effect from May 24 itself. This is one of the steepest price hikes in India ever. State run oil firms are expected to increase the prices by Rs 6.28 per litre excluding local sales tax or Value added tax (VAT). However, the prices of diesel, kerosene and domestic LPG have not been touched so far. Raising of petrol prices is expected to bring some relief to the oil companies all of which are currently trading significantly higher than their previous day prices.
Auto stocks are trading in the red led by Maruti Suzuki and Escorts. As per a leading daily, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) is looking at SsangYong , its South Korean arm to push its brand in the Chinese market. M&M started importing SsangYong cars into China last year. SsangYong is far behind its competitors in China including Hyundai Motors and Kia Motors. SsangYong which is considered as a premium brand in China has not been able to do well so far in the Asian country. We may note here that SsangYong was close to bankruptcy under its Chinese owner SAIC Motor Corp when M&M decided to buy a 70% stake in it. The Indian automaker is also going to sell its sports utility vehicles (SUVs) to emerging markets of Brazil and South Africa.