Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in Hong Kong and Japan (down 0.3%) leading the losses. However, the stock markets in Taiwan(up 0.9%) and Singapore (up 0.5%) were leading the gains. The Indian share markets have opened the day on a firm note. All sectoral indices are trading in the green with consumer durables and realty indices leading the gains.
Both the BSE-Sensex and NSE-Nifty have opened on a positive note. The Sensex was trading higher by 126 points (0.5%) while Nifty was trading higher by 34 points (0.4%). Both mid and small cap indices have opened on a positive note. BSE Mid Cap index is up by around 0.8% and BSE Small Cap index is up by around 1.0%. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 60.46 to the US dollar.
PSU Bank stocks have opened the day mixed with UCO Bank and Central Bank leading the losses. However, Indian Bank and State Bank of India were leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, in order to capture a larger share of the big-ticket loan market in large cities, three of the country's key lenders - State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and Punjab National Bank (PNB) - have cut the home loan rate. SBI has reduced the interest rate on home loans above Rs 75 lakh by 15 basis points to 10.15 %. Now that the slab system has been done away with, the bank will now offer home loans at a uniform interest rate, irrespective of the loan amount. ICICI Bank has also removed the different interest rate slabs on its home loans. The bank recently started offering loans of up to Rs 50 m to salaried individuals on a flat interest rate of 10.15 %. This offer is currently for loans availed till the end of this month but is likely to be extended. PNB is also now offering home loans of up to Rs 20 m at 10.25 %. For those above this, customers will be charged 10.5%. Earlier, the bank charged 10.25 % interest for loans of up to Rs 7.5 m and 10.50 % for the loans above that amount.
Energy stocks have opened the day mainly in the green with Oil India Ltd and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) leading the gains. However, GAIL(India) Ltd and Petronet LNG have opened in the red. As per a leading financial daily, the oil ministry will seek Cabinet nod for freeing diesel prices, now that the retail rates achieve parity with global levels. Also, the ministry has proposed to cut subsidy payout by upstream firm like Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) by half. One must note here that a phased deregulation of diesel rates was started in January last year with up to 50 paise a litre increase in rate every month. As such, the under recovery on diesel now stands at Rs 1.78 per litre. By the end of October, the pump rates could come at par with international price. Before that, the ministry will approach Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) to change the under recovery burden sharing by oil firms. The ministry is proposing to split under recovery burden equally between the Government and upstream firms.