Indian equity markets began the day's proceedings on a cautious note and languished in the red throughout the morning session. However, buying across index heavyweights intensified post noon thereby pushing the indices into the green. This buoyancy continued in the final trading hours as well as a result of which the indices closed well above the dotted line. While the BSE-Sensex today closed higher by 174 points (up 1%), the NSE-Nifty today closed higher by 56 points (up 1%). The BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap also notched gains of 1% each. Gains were largely seen in banking and metals stocks.
As regards global markets, Asian indices closed mixed today while European indices have opened in the green. The rupee was trading at Rs 52.68 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Most energy stocks closed firm today with the key gainers being Indraprastha Gas, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and BPCL. As per a leading business daily, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) is looking to complete expansion projects costing more than US$ 3 bn at two refineries by 2015. This is to boost output and upgrade fuel quality. It must be noted that because of the widening of gap between petrol and diesel prices, the auto industry saw a surge in demand for diesel vehicles. Not just that, a delayed monsoon season has also increased diesel demand from the transportation and agricultural sectors for those months. Thus, to capitalise on this opportunity, the company intends to invest at the Kochi refinery to raise its crude processing capacity by 63% to 310,000 barrels per day (bpd) from 190,000 bpd in December 2015.
As per a leading business daily, India's exports declined for the fifth straight month in September, dropping 10.7% to US$ 23.7 bn compared to the same month in the previous year. This can be attributed to poor demand from the deepening debt crisis in the European Union (EU) and other markets such as China and Japan. However, imports grew by 5% on account of rising oil imports. This thus led to a widening of trade deficit during the month to a high of US$ 18 bn. Oil imports during September 2012 increased 30.7% to US$ 14 bn on account of high international prices.