The Sensex today is up by around 481 points (2.6%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 161 point (3%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 1.7% and 0.8% respectively. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 66.96 to the US dollar.
Auto stocks have largely opened the day on a firm note with Tata Motors, Maruti Suzuki and Ashok Leyland leading the gains. The slowdown in the economy coupled with high interest rates has severely impacted sales of the auto industry. Given the gloomy economic outlook, car companies have started deferring their capex plans. As per a leading financial daily, some of the major players who have resorted to defer capex plans include companies such as Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and Volkswagen. M&M had chalked out planned investments of about Rs 100 bn. Of this, Rs 75 bn had been earmarked for capex. However, given the poor market conditions the company is likely to defer investments of about Rs 10-12 bn by around 12 months. Leading passenger car maker Maruti is also going slow on planned investments for a new plant at Gujarat. The plant is unlikely to be commissioned even by the end of financial year 2015-16.
Oil & gas stocks have also opened the day on a firm note with Gujarat Gas Company, Reliance Industries and Gujarat State Petronet Ltd (GSPL) leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, Gujarat Gas Company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) for a long-term gas procurement deal. As per the MoU, GSPC has agreed to supply 0.85 million metric standard cubic meters (mmscm) of gas per day to Gujarat Gas from 1st January, 2014 to 30th June, 2025. The gas price will be determined in the relevant Gas Sales Contracts (GSC) and it is likely to be formula-based. The MoU is effective till 31 December 2013 or the signing of the relevant GSCs, whichever is earlier.
It must be noted that Gujarat Gas is India's largest private sector company in the natural gas transmission and distribution business. It supplies gas to more than 3.86 lakh domestic, commercial and industrial customers and serves more than 1.98 lakh compressed natural gas (CNG) users.