Indian stock market
languished in the red throughout the trading session today on the back of persistent selling pressure across index heavyweights. Although there were some attempts in the morning session to push into the positive, these proved futile as profit booking at higher levels took toll. There was no respite in the final trading hour either and the indices closed well below the dotted line. While the BSE-Sensex closed lower by around 101 points (down 0.6%), the NSE-Nifty closed lower by around 29 points (down 0.5%). The BSE Midcap
closed flat, while the BSE Small cap
bucked the trend and closed higher by 0.2%. Losses were largely seen in healthcare, oil and gas and metals stocks.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today while European indices have opened in the red. The rupee was trading at Rs 44.64 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Power stocks closed mixed today. While Coal India and NTPC found favour, Tata Power and Reliance Power closed in the red. As per a leading business daily, power major NTPC will set up two 500-MW units under the first phase of its Mouda power project near Nagpur by 2012. This will entail an investment of Rs 57 bn. The first unit will start power generation by March 2012, while the second unit will be functional by September in that year. The work is in two phases and the second phase will involve setting up two 660 MW units at an investment of Rs 85 bn. NTPC will procure coal from the public sector undertaking Western Coalfields Ltd. Further, NTPC would sell 37% of the total power generated to Maharashtra. It must be noted that NTPC's share in the country's generation was 27.4% in FY11, with 17.75% of the national capacity and it has planned capex of Rs 264 bn for FY12. Furthermore, the company is targeting to attain capacity of 128,000 MW by 2032 with 28% of this capacity coming from non-fossil sources.
Food stocks closed firm today with the key gainers being Tata Global Beverages, ITC and Nestle. As per a leading business daily, Tata Global Beverages is in talks to sell a 20% stake in its international operations to a strategic investor in order to fund its ambitious growth plans. It must be noted that to spur growth, the company has created some joint ventures one of which was its non-carbonated drinks tie-up with PepsiCo called NourishCo Beverages in April 2010. It had also bought 31% stake in a US company which makes Activate, a performance beverage. FY11 was a subdued year for the company, though, as consolidated profits fell by 22% YoY. Profits were adversely impacted by high input costs fuelled by a surge in commodity prices and by increase in brand building expenses. The consolidated financials included the company's overseas operations comprising the Tetley Group UK, Eight O' Clock Coffee USA, Joekels Tea and Polish tea brand Vitax.