The major Asian stock markets have opened on a mixed note with stock markets in Japan (up 1.5%) and Hong Kong(up 1.9%) leading the gains. However, the stock markets in Malaysia (down 0.5%) and Indonesia (down 0.5%) are witnessing losses. The Indian stock market indices have opened the day on a firm note. Barring software and auto, all sectoral indices have opened in the green with the stocks in FMCG and banking space leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 174 points (0.9%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 37 points (0.7%). Midcap and small cap stocks have opened in the green as well with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.7% and 0.5% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 65.82 to the US dollar.
Energy stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Oil India Ltd and Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) leading the gains. However, Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd (CPCL) and Cairn India Ltd were facing selling pressure. In the wake of rising crude prices and depreciating rupee, petrol price was recently hiked by Rs 2.35 per litre. This is the sixth time in the three months that petrol prices have been hiked. Since June 31, 2013, the petrol prices have gone up by Rs 9.17 per litre (excluding VAT). In a similar move, the diesel prices have been hiked by Rs 0.50 per litre (excluding VAT). The state run oil refining company Indian Oil Corporation has announced that these hikes are exclude local sales tax or value added tax (VAT). The final retail selling prices are likely to be higher and will be different in different cities. Post revision, the petrol prices in Delhi and Mumbai are likely to go up to Rs 74.1 per litre and Rs 81.57 per litre respectively. The revised diesel prices in Delhi and Mumbai will be Rs 51.97 per litre and Rs 58.86 per litre respectively.
This is the eighth hike in diesel prices since Government's announcement in January 2013 to let oil companies raise prices of diesel in a phased manner. It is important to note here that while petrol is a deregulated fuel, diesel prices are still controlled. The move will give state run oil companies some relief from the mounting fuel under recoveries on account of the fall in the rupee and firming up of oil prices. As per the petroleum ministry estimates, the under recovery losses for the current financial year are likely to be around Rs 1,810 bn, up 13% year on year (YoY). As such, the petroleum ministry is making a case of further hike in the prices of the retail fuels.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a mainly in the red with Tube Investments Ltd and Tata Motors Ltd leading the losses in the sector. As per a leading financial daily, the tool-down agitation by workers of two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp Ltd at its Haridwar plant here has come to rest on Saturday. It is important to note here that production at the company's plant had been affected since Thursday night as the workers went on tool down agitation against suspension of two workers. At Haridwar, the company has biggest plant with a daily production capacity of 8,500 units and employs around 4000 labourers. As per the company's workers' union representative in Delhi, the production at Haridwar facility had been completely halted since 10 pm on Thursday. However, the management has said that the impact on production was insignificant. The full scale production is likely to resume from today.