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Markets tumble on US debt downgrade
Mon, 8 Aug 09:30 am

All Asian stock markets have opened the week with heavy losses as the credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's recently downgraded US long term debt from AAA to AA+. Taking a cue, all stock markets in Asia have opened with heavy losses. Stock markets in China (down 3.7%), Hong Kong (down 3.9%), Indonesia (down 4.3%) and Singapore (down 3.8%) are leading the pack of losers. The Indian stock market have also opened the day with heavy losses. Stocks in the metal and technology space are facing severe selling pressure.

The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by around 456 points (2.6%), while the NSE-Nifty is down 134 points (2.6%). The midcap and smallcap stocks are in the negative as well with both the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Small cap indices down by 2.8% and 3% respectively. The rupee is trading at 45.03 to the US dollar.

Power stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Reliance Power, Torrent Power, Suzlon Energy and JSW Energy facing significant selling pressure. Power major National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) is planning to invest about Rs 1 trillion to set up a hydropower project in Arunachal Pradesh. With a power generation capacity of 9,500 MW, the Siang Upper project will be India's largest hydropower project. The state-run power major is currently in talks with the Arunachal Pradesh government and is trying to address the concerns that have been raised over the project's feasibility.

NTPC currently has a power generation capacity of 34,000 MW. It aims to increase the same to 50,000 MW by 2012. The company is likely to commission its first hydropower project in Himachal Pradesh by next year. It is also in the process of implementing a 520 MW hydel project in Uttarakhand.

Engineering stocks have also opened the day in the red with ABB, Praj Industries and Punj LLoyd facing significant selling pressure. Engineering major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has bagged three international orders worth US$ 889 m (about Rs 40 bn) for hydrocarbon projects. Among the orders won by the company, there is Abu Dhabi Gas Industries' Habshan-Ruwais-Shuweihat Gas Pipeline Project worth US$ 189 m (about Rs 8.5 bn). The project is scheduled to be completed in 24-26 months. Another order is a US$ 450 m (about Rs 20.2 bn) project from ADMA-OPCO, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. The same is expected be completed in 27-29 months. Apart from these two projects, L&T has also won a US$ 250 m (about Rs 11.2 bn) project from PTTEP International, a subsidiary of Thailand's PTT Public Company. The project is expected to be completed in 24 months. As on 31st March 2011, L&T's order book stood at about Rs 1.3 trillion.

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