The Indian markets have started today's session on a positive note. The BSE-Sensex has crossed the 20,000 levels for the first time since January 2008. Other key Asian markets are also in the green with Japan (up 0.4%) leading the pack of gainers. The US markets ended higher by 1.4% yesterday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading strong with FMCG majors attracting investors' interest. The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 145 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 40 points. Buying interest is also being witnessed among mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 0.5% and 0.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at 45.59 to the US dollar.
Food stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include GSK Consumer and Britannia. As per a leading business daily, Nestle India has cut the price at which it buys milk from farmers in Punjab. From Rs 355 per kg of fat, the company has brought the procurement prices down to Rs 340 per kg. It may be noted that there was a record supply of milk this summer. Nestle is the biggest buyer of milk in Punjab processing over 900,000 litres of milk per day. Another large consumer GSK consumer, which processes 300,000 litres per day, is also likely to cut procurement prices. The Punjab government had imposed an entry tax of 5% on milk procured from outside the state, which was reducing the margins of companies. This acted as another trigger for reducing the farmers' rates.
Energy stocks have opened the day on a strong note. Gainers here include Indian oil and Gujarat Gas. As per a leading business daily, Indian Oil will increase the price of petrol by 27 paise from today. This will make it the first among the public sector oil marketing companies (OMCs) to exercise the pricing freedom given by the government on June 26. BPCL and HPCL are likely to follow suit soon. It may be noted that the government has not yet empowered the OMCs to fix the price of diesel due to political opposition and its impact on inflation levels. Ultimately, the pricing of diesel must be freed for genuine price deregulation. It constitutes about 41% of the total petroleum products sales.