As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today while European indices have opened flat to positive. The rupee was trading at Rs 55.75 to the dollar at the time of writing.
PSU oil marketing companies including Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (BPCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Ltd. (MRPL) closed lower today due to the steep rise in global crude prices. Crude prices touched their highest level yesterday since May 2012 on report of a steep drop in US oil stock piles and fresh tensions in the Middle East. Also, there were hopes for further stimulus from major central banks to support the weakening global economy that helped the prices move higher. Fears of supply disruptions erupted after Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter ordered its citizens to leave Lebanon over kidnapping fears. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said US oil stockpiles fell 3.7 million barrels last week. Gasoline inventories fell 2.4 million barrels, while distillate stocks rose 700,000 barrels.
Auto stocks closed mixed today. While Hero Motocorp and M&M closed firm, Maruti Suzuki closed in the red. After the brutal violence that erupted in Maruti Suzuki's Manesar plant resulting in a lockout there, the company intends to reopen the plant on August 21. This will mark a period of almost one month since the plant was shut down. The Manesar plant, which has an annual capacity of 550,000 units, rolls out the company's popular models Swift, entry level sedan Dzire and SX4 along with compact car A-Star. Given that every day of lost production had cost the company heavily, the reopening of the plant is a positive for the company. However, volumes for the July-September quarter are bound to be hit.