All the major Asian stock markets have opened the day in the green with Japan (up 3.1%) and Indonesia (up 1.6%) leading the pack of gainers. The Indian share market indices have also opened the day on a positive note. Barring consumer durables and software, all sectoral indices have opened in the green with stocks in the oil and gas and metal sector leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 282 points (1.5%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 86 points (1.5%). The mid cap stocks and small cap stocks have also opened in the green with BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.9% and 0.5% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 59.82 to the US dollar.
Energy stocks have opened the day mainly in the green with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) leading the gains. In a key development in India's energy sector, despite opposition, the Government has approved doubling of gas prices from the current US$ 4.2 per million metric British thermal units (mmbtu) to US$ 8.4 per mmbtu. The new price will be effective from April 1, 2014. It is to be noted that the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has decided to overlook the US$6.775 per mmbtu proposed by the petroleum ministry. Instead, it has opted for the Rangarajan formula advocated by the finance ministry and planning commission. The Rangarajan formula would be applicable for five years. The new price at US$ 8.4 per mmbtu will be reviewed every three months. It will apply to all the gas producers uniformly including firms like Oil India Limited (OIL), ONGC and private companies like Reliance India Ltd. The new price has been arrived by using a formula of long-term and spot liquid gas (LNG) import contracts as well as international trading benchmarks.
Engineering stocks have opened the day mainly in the green with Sanghvi Movers Ltd and Everest Kanto Cylinder Ltd leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, Crompton Greaves Ltd (CG) has bagged three contracts from Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL) worth Rs 2.3 bn for supply of autotransformers and reactors for its Thiruvelum, Kurnool, Raipur and Wardha substations. The manufacturing of the products is likely to take place at CG's Bhopal plant. The scope of the contracts includes design, manufacturing, factory testing, dispatch, erection, site testing, commissioning and related civil construction, at various locations in India. The projects are expected to be completed within 31 months.