The Indian markets have started today's session on a volatile note. The benchmark indices opened at the breakeven mark and although they did plunge in the negative soon after, are currently trading above breakeven. Other key Asian markets are in the red with Indonesia (down 0.6%) leading the pack of losers. The US markets closed lower by 0.7% yesterday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading weak with metal and software majors facing the brunt of selling activity. The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 24 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 5 points. Buying interest is also being witnessed among mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 0.1% each. The rupee is trading at 47.23 to the US dollar.
Energy stocks have opened the day on a negative note. Losers here include HPCL and Indraprastha Gas. As per a leading business daily, public sector oil and gas producer Oil India is actively searching for oil and gas assets overseas. In fact, the company is currently evaluating a few proposals. The decision to grow inorganically is backed by its strong cash reserves of about Rs 100 bn. The company is looking for producing fields or companies with producing fields instead of starting at the exploration stage in new blocks. The company already has stakes in exploration blocks in Libya, Gabon, Iran, Nigeria and Yemen. It is looking at acquiring stakes in fields in Myanmar and Bangladesh. The company along with Indian oil also made attempts to acquire Syria-focused oil explorer Gulfsands Petroleum earlier this year. Important to note that Indian energy majors have been scouting for oil and gas assets abroad at a time when India depends heavily on crude oil imports for its domestic requirements. In fact, it competes with China in acquiring oil equity across the world but especially in South East Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Cement stocks have opened the day on a negative note. Losers here include Dalmia cement and Ultratech cement. Shree Cement announced its FY10 results. The company posted a topline growth of 34% YoY during FY10. Cement revenues grew by 31% YoY, while power revenues grew by nearly 18% YoY. The cement segment reported a double digit growth in production of 20.7% YoY. Operating profit increased by nearly 58% YoY as costs continued to grow at a slower pace as compared to the growth in topline. Bottomline growth stood at 17% YoY due to higher interest costs, depreciation, tax outgo and extraordinary expense. The board of directors has recommended a final dividend of Rs 8 per share.