The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note with stock markets in China (down 0.6%), South Korea (down 0.3%) and Taiwan (down 0.5%) leading the pack of losers in the region. The Indian equity market indices have also opened the day in the red. The sectoral indices have opened on a mixed note with software and realty stocks witnessing maximum gains while stocks in the banking and auto sector are leading the losses.
The Sensex today is down by around 60 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 11 points (0.2%). However, mid and small cap stocks are have opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.3% and 0.5% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 53.07 to the US dollar.
Energy stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) leading the pack of gainers. However, Oil India Ltd and Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL) were witnessing losses. As per a leading financial daily, a bulk of the 52 oil and gas blocks have been cleared by the Government that were stuck for want of defence and environmental clearances by different organizations such as Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Environment and Forest, international boundary disputes and state governments. The delay had been adversely impacting the nation's plan to speed up exploration of oil and gas and had led to a rise in the import bill. Around 22 of such blocks belong to Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and 15 belong to Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL). As per oil secretary Mr Chaturvedi, of the 254 blocks awarded to domestic and overseas explorers in nine rounds of New Exploration and Licensing Policy (NELP), only 11-12 blocks are pending for clearances now.
Power stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Torrent Power Ltd and Gujarat Industries Power Company Ltd. leading the gains. However, Neyveli Lignite and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) are facing selling pressure. As per a leading financial daily, Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL) is planning to set up the 765 kilovolt (kv) Raichur to Solapur transmission system. The company aims to complete the Rs 19.3 bn project by first quarter of 2014. The project aims to strengthen and interlink North and South transmission network. As per the management, with the commissioning of Raichur to Solapur transmission line, this will be a totally synchronous grid across the country. This grid will enable the entire country to have one frequency. The power transmission will be seamless between various regions including South India.