Barring Indonesia (down 0.5%), all major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note with Hong Kong (up 1.6%) and China (up 1.3%) leading the gains. The Indian share markets indices have also opened the day on a positive note. Stocks in the healthcare and metal space are leading the gains. However, power stocks are trading weak.
The Sensex today is up by around 120 points (0.6%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 30 points (0.6%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.7% and 0.8% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 60.68 to the US dollar.
Oil & gas stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Gujarat Gas and Essar Oil leading the pack of gainers. Earlier the Oil Ministry had said that existing oil and gas explorers could be permitted to explore shale gas resources. However, as per a leading financial daily, the Ministry has now retracted its move. As per the latest proposal, existing private explorers of conventional oil and gas such as Reliance Industries and Cairn India would not be allowed to explore shale oil and gas in their existing blocks without bidding. This move came in after the Finance Ministry said that new entrants should also be given an equal opportunity. However, it has been proposed that only state-run Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Oil India should be allowed to explore shale oil and gas in blocks that were given to them without an auction.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a firm note with TVS Motor Company, Ashok Leyland and Tata Motors leading the gains. As per a leading daily, Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is mulling a major expansion plan at its UK factory. This is on the back of increasing demand for the Range Rover Evoque as well as a launch of new models. For this latest capital expenditure, the company has zeroed down on its Halewood factory in Merseyside, north-west England. This expansion could create upto 1,000 jobs. JLR plans to launch 40 new models in the next five years. It also intends to double car sales to 750,000 by 2015.