The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in China (up 0.7%) and Singapore (up 0.1%) leading the gains. However, the stock markets in Japan (down 1.1%) and Hong Kong (down 0.8%) were leading the losses. The Indian stock market indices have opened the day on a weak note. The sectoral indices have opened mixed with stocks in the oil and gas and banking sector leading the losses. However, stocks in the software and auto space are leading the gains.
The Sensex today is down by around 55 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 18 points (0.3%). The midcap and smallcap stocks have however opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap index and the BSE Small Cap index up by around 0.1% and 0.2% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 61.60 to the US dollar.
Steel stocks have opened the day on a mainly on a mixed note with Tayo Rolls Ltd leading the losses. However, Tata Steel Ltd and Bhushan Steel Ltd have opened in the green. As per a leading financial daily, upgradation and modernization of steel major Sail Authority of India Ltd's (SAIL) Burnpur based IISCO steel plant is likely to get completed by the end of the current financial year (March 2014). As per the company's management, units worth around Rs 50 bn have already commenced production. The modernization of the plant is likely to cost around Rs 160 bn. Post modernization, the capacity of the plant will increase to 2.9 million tonnes (MT) of hot metal. The current capacity of the plant is 0.4 MT. The project has already missed internal completion targets and is running around 20 months behind the schedule. As per the management, the other key unit to start hot trials is the sinter plant having production capacity of 3.8 MT.
Oil and gas stocks have opened the day on a mainly in the red with Oil India Ltd and Indian Oil Corporation Ltd leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation has announced that it is planning to commence commercial production of shale gas next year. As per the management, the firm is planning to drill 10 wells this year and expects to start commercial production next year with the technological support from ConocoPhillips. It is important to note here that the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had allowed ONGC and Oil India Ltd (OIL) to tap shale resources in blocks allotted to them on a nomination basis (before New Exploration Licensing Policy came into existence in 1999). The government will offer shale oil and gas blocks to other companies through an auction planned in the next few weeks. As per the studies, the recoverable reserves of shale gas in Indian basins are estimated between 6 trillion cubic feet and 63 trillion cubic feet.