The key Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with markets in China (up 0.4%), Hong Kong (up 0.1%) and Taiwan (up 0.7%) leading the gains in the region. However, the stock markets in Japan (down 0.3%) and Malaysia (down 0.1%) have opened in red. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a firm note. The sectoral indices are trading mixed with stocks in the pharma and software sector leading the gains while stocks in the power and capital goods sector are witnessing losses.
The Sensex today is up by around 17 points (0.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 3 points (0.1%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.3% and 0.1% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 55.32 to the US dollar.
Steel stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Tayo Rolls and Tata Steel leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) is planning to invest more than Rs 950 bn to expand and modernize various projects across Jharkhand. The company has plans to expand its Bokaro Steel Plant (BSL) at an estimated investment of Rs 600 bn. It also plans to set up new steel, power and urea plants in Sindri and increase mining activities across the state. The company is planning to increase its production capacity to 45 metric tonnes (MT) by 2020. The proposed investment is likely to make the Jharkhand state an industrial hub. As per the management, Jharkhand, already having four coal blocks, several iron ore mines and 4.59 MT capacity BSL plant fits well as a location and the company is receiving full cooperation from the state and central government for its projects.
Oil & gas stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Oil India Ltd and Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) leading the gains while Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) are witnessing losses. As per a leading financial daily, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd's subsidiary ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) has recently signed agreements to purchase Hess Corporation's 2.72% participating interest in Azeri, Chirag and Guneshli (ACG) fields in Azerbaijan. It will also purchase the 2.36% interest in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline (BTC) for US$1 bn. As per ONGC, the production from these fields in the last fiscal year stood at about 15% of OVL's crude oil production. The stake purchase has come at a time when ONGC is facing decline in production and OVL is facing problems in Syria and Sudan on account of political issues.