The Indian markets have started today's session on a negative note. The benchmark indices opened above the breakeven mark but slipped into the negative territory. Other key Asian markets are in the red with Malaysia (down 0.7%) leading the pack of losers. The US markets ended lower by 0.2% yesterday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading weak with realty majors facing the brunt of selling activity. The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by around 100 points, while the NSE-Nifty is down by about 35 points. Selling pressure is also being witnessed among mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading lower by 0.3% each. The rupee is trading at 45.6 to the US dollar.
Energy stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include ONGC and Indraprastha Gas. As per a leading business daily, ONGC has entered into the area of shale gas exploration by starting work on a shale gas well near Durgapur, West Bengal. The contract has been awarded to oilfield services provider Schlumberger and a result of this well is expected by end of October. It is part of the company's pilot project to develop proprietary technologies in shale gas by working in the Damodar Valley basin. Its board had approved a budget of Rs 1.3 bn for the same. Shale gas has become an important source of natural gas of late with an increasing share in the US energy basket. Reliance Industries has acquired three acreages in the US this year at a cost of US$ 3.5 bn. BPCL has also recently entered the field.
Food stocks have opened the day on a strong note. Gainers here include Agro Tech Foods and Nestle. As per a leading business daily, Nestle plans to invest Rs 2.3 bn to set up its first research and development (R&D) centre in India at Manesar. It will be made operational by July 2012. The R&D centre will the 30th such facility of the Nestle group worldwide. It will initially have a team of 40 scientists and engineers. It will be fully integrated with the company's global R&D network. The centre will facilitate innovation across a variety of categories including culinary, cereals, beverages and dairy products. It will the company's effort to further indigenize its products in India.