Barring China (down 0.2%) Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note with stock markets in Indonesia (up 2.1%), Japan (up 1.8%) leading the gains in the region. The Indian equity markets have also opened the day on a positive note. All sectoral indices have opened in green with stocks in the banking and realty sector leading the pack of gainers.
The Sensex today is up by around 208 points (1.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 50 points (1.0%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid cap and BSE Small cap indices up by around 0.9% and 0.7% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 55.48 to the US dollar.
Energy stocks have opened on a mixed note with Essar Oil and Cairn India leading the gains while Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Gujarat State Petronet Limited (GSPL) are trading weak. As per a leading financial daily, the Petroleum regulator has suggested the Oil Ministry to cancel some licenses. These are for one pipeline planned by Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) and four by Reliance Gas Transportation Infrastructure (RGTIL) to transport gas from Reliance Industries' D6 block where gas supplies have seen a drastic fall. As per the regulator, the license should be revoked as the work on the projects has not progressed since a long time. The deadline to build the pipeline expires in December 2012. The pipelines include RGTIL's projects to link Kakinada with Chennai, Tuticorin, Bangalore, Mangalore and Haldia, and GAIL's pipeline from Haldia to Jagdishpur.
Aluminium stocks have opened the day on a positive note with Hindalco Industries leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, the Gujarat government recently approved the Rs 120 bn investment plan by public sector aluminium firm National Aluminium Company Limited (Nalco). Nalco will set up an alumina and smelter plant in a joint venture with Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC). GMDC will have 26% stake in this joint venture. As per a GMDC official, the project is likely to be set up on similar lines as the units installed by the UK-based Vedanta Group in Orissa. However, the technology used will be better. The project is planned to be set up in two phases. The first will involved an investment of Rs 44 bn by Nalco in an alumina plant with an installed capacity of 10 lakh tonnes per annum (tpa). In the second phase, the remaining investments will be made and also a smelter plant with 5 lakh tpa capacity will be set up. GMDC will supply 30 lakh tonnes of bauxite to Nalco. The stock was trading in the green.