Barring Taiwan (down 0.1%), the key Asian equity markets have opened the day on a positive note with market indices in Hong Kong (up 1.7%), Singapore(up 0.8%) and South Korea(up 0.6% ) leading the gains in the region. The Indian stock market indices have also opened the day in green. All sectoral indices are trading in the positive with pharma and metal sectors witnessing maximum gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 95 points (0.6%) and the NSE-Nifty is up by around 29 points (0.5%). Both Mid cap and Small Cap stocks are trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap index and BSE Small Cap index up by around 0.4% each. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.91 to the US dollar.
Energy stocks are trading mixed with Essar Oil and Gujarat State Petronet Ltd. (GSPL) leading the pack of gainers. However, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL) and Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL) are trading weak. Castrol, the country's leading automotive and industrial lubricants manufacturer has announced results for second quarter of calendar year 2012 (2QCY12). The company reported a 7.7% year on year (YoY) increase in the topline during the quarter. This was mainly on account of a 5% boost in volumes. The operating margins for the quarter were down by 13.2% YoY. The margins also slipped to 20.2% versus 25.1% last year. This was due to rupee depreciation and high cost of raw materials. The company's bottomline was down by 15% YoY. The net profit margins for the quarter stood at 14.2%, down from 18.0% last year. Castrol has declared an interim dividend of Rs 7 per share and the Board of Directors has proposed to issue bonus shares in the ratio 1:1 subject to the approval of shareholders.
Barring Gujarat Industries Power Company Ltd., all Power stocks are trading in green with Tata Power and GVK Power & Infrastructure leading the pack of gainers. As per a leading financial daily, Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) is planning to set up an equal joint venture with three companies including Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) to manufacture transmission equipment. The company is yet to seek the government approval for the project and is expected to invest around Rs 3 bn in it. In separate news, the company expects to connect the Southern Grid with the National Grid by middle of next year. The expansion is estimated to cost Rs 60 bn. It is to be noted that South is the worst hit region with regards to power deficit that stands at 15.3% of the total demand as compared to 8.6% for the entire country in April -June period.