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Indian markets drift lower
Wed, 4 Jun 11:30 am

After opening in the red; the Indian indices have drifted lower in the morning session of trade. IT and energy stocks are leading the losers.

The BSE-Sensex is trading down 50 points and the NSE-Nifty is trading down 15 points. The BSE Mid cap index is trading up 1.1%, while the BSE Small cap index is trading up 1.3% today. The rupee is trading at 59.38 to the US dollar.

As per a leading financial daily, India's services sector has seen an expansion in business activity for the first time in nearly one year. The HSBC Services Purchasing Managers Index (Services PMI) has registered an expansion in the month of May 2014 at 50.2. This is up from 48.5 last month. A number above 50 indicates expansion. This has been largely driven by new business activity indicating optimism among corporates that the economy will rebound since the new government has taken charge. However it would be too early to say at this time if there will be a genuine turnaround in the service sector.

Power stocks are trading positive today. Torrent Power Ltd and NHPC Ltd. are leading the gainers. According to a leading business daily; the government is mulling over imposition of dumping duty on imported solar cells. Currently, more than 70% of projects across the country use imported solar cells/panels and around 4,000 MW was tendered recently. The imposition of duty could make the solar cells very expensive due to which several projects can get stuck. The cost is expected to increase by 100% and it is to be noted that solar panel costs constitute half of the total solar project cost. Also, states such as Tamil Nadu have written to the government that they may scrap solar programmes if the cost escalates. Also Karnataka has postponed bidding of its 130 MW of solar project because of the confusion over price of imported solar cells. Solar power is one of the essential ways for India's power capacity expansion plan. Power shortage, coal availability issues and expensive generators render solar power as an attractive option. India's total grid-connected solar capacity as of March, 2014 stood at 2,632 MW. The increase in panel cost could delay the capacity expansion plan and add to the power woes of the country.

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