The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with markets in China (up 0.3%) and Taiwan (up 0.2%) leading the gains in the region. However, markets in Malaysia (down 0.8%) and South Korea (down 0.3%) are witnessing losses. The Indian share market indices have opened the day in the red. The stocks in the capital goods and FMCG sector are leading the losses. However, stocks in power and realty space are witnessing gains.
The Sensex today is down by around 63 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 17 points (0.3%). Mid and small cap stocks are however trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.3% and 0.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 53.17 to the US dollar.
Energy stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Gujarat Gas and Essar Oil leading the gains. However, Reliance Industries Ltd and Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) are facing selling pressure. As per a leading financial daily, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and its partner British Petroleum (BP) plan to surrender two more exploration blocks. This will reduce their tally to 14 from 21 a year ago when the government approved BP's US$7.2-bn deal to pick up stakes in Reliance's blocks. As per a recent letter to Directorate-General of Hydrocarbons (DGH), RIL said the contractor had spent US$309 m in the two deepwater blocks. It now wants to relinquish the blocks after completing more than the committed exploration works, including drilling four wells. The company has said that the block falls in a high risk low reward category. As per the industry sources, RIL's exploration & production (E&P) portfolio has shrunk to almost half since it announced the deal with BP in February 2011.
Auto stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Hero Motocorp and Bajaj Auto leading the pack of gainers. However, Eicher Motors and Maharashtra scooters are witnessing losses. As per a leading financial daily, Maruti Suzuki India is planning to launch a completely new version of its best selling model Alto. The move is a part of its effort to regain lost ground in small car segment. Through this, the company expects to overcome tough market conditions, especially high petrol price and interest rates that have hurt the sales of small cars. It is also offering CNG (compressed natural gas) option in the new Alto 800.The new version of Alto will be launched in October and will replace the existing Alto. The company has spent around Rs 4.7 bn in developing the new model. It is banking on Alto 800's improved fuel efficiency which is 15% higher than the previous model as a key factor for pulling customers.