The Indian markets have started today's session on a positive note. The benchmark indices opened at the breakeven mark but soon surged into the positive territory. They have managed to hold on to their gains since then. Other key Asian markets are in the green with Japan (up 1.6%) leading the pack of gainers. The US markets closed higher by 2.1% yesterday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading strong with banking, software and auto majors attracting investors' interest. The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 105 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 27 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 0.6% and 0.7% respectively. The rupee is trading at 46.41 to the US dollar.
Energy stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Cairn India and Gujarat Gas. As per a leading business daily, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board (PNGRB) has approved the tariff that GAIL will charge consumers for moving natural gas through its two main trunk pipelines. The company will charge four different distance-based tariffs on its Hazira-Vijaipur-Jagdishpur (HVJ) and Dahej Vijaipur pipelines. It will charge between Rs 20 to Rs 28 per m British thermal unit (mBtu) on the HVJ line, depending on the distance. Similarly, it will charge between Rs 42 to Rs 59 per mBtu on the other pipeline. PNGRB has also approved the tariff for Reliance Industries' East-West pipeline from Kakinada to Bharuch. It will charge between Rs 15 to Rs 61 per mBtu, depending on the distance. It may be noted that tariff rates take into account the capital expenditure incurred for laying down the pipelines. There were apprehensions that the board will have to check tariffs under pressure from end users like the fertiliser and power industries. That has not happened. In fact, the upward revision will encourage natural gas carriers to further enhance their transportation capacity.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Tata Motors and M&M. As per a leading business daily, car companies are preparing to raise prices for the fourth time this year in July. In fact, companies like M&M, Maruti Suzuki, General Motors, Ford and Toyota are already negotiating the extent of the hike with their vendors. The car makers are forced to hike prices as raw material costs have gone through the roof. Prices of commodities like steel and rubber have risen sharply in the last few quarters. It may be noted that passenger vehicle sales have risen 35% YoY in April-May this year. Hence, the auto companies are banking on the strong demand to prevent sales from falling.