Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in China (down 0.9%) and Malaysia (down 0.3%) leading the losses in the region. However, markets in Japan (2.2%), Indonesia (up 0.4%) and Hong Kong (up 0.4%) are trading firm. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a firm note. Stocks in the oil and gas, technology and metal space are leading the gains. However, consumer durables stocks are trading weak.
The Sensex today is up by around 56 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 11 points (0.2%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.3% and 0.6% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.92 to the US dollar.
Power stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Jaiprakash Power, Indiabulls Power and Adani Power leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, the government has come to a decision that power sector companies will be offered a discount on coal blocks' prices in the auction which is expected to commence in a few months. However, the coal ministry has not decided the discount rate that will be offered. It is currently consulting with the state governments that will receive the entire auction proceeds. The rationale behind the decision to offer discounts to power companies is to ensure lower electricity tariffs. The coal ministry has identified 54 coal blocks with over 18,000 MT (metric tonnes) reserves for allocation to private and public sector firms. About 45% of the blocks have been earmarked for the power sector. These blocks will be given to state governments, which will grant the mines to companies that quote lowest tariff for electricity supply. Power companies will pay a 'reserve price' for each block. And it is on this reserve price that the coal ministry plans to give a discount.
Oil & gas stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Petronet LNG, Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, state-run oil marketing companies have decided to reduce petrol prices by 95 paise from today. This step has followed the oil ministry's insistence to pass over the benefit of softening international oil prices. It must be noted that OMCs were making marginal profit on petrol. However, they wanted to recover revenue losses on the fuel as the ministry had not allowed them to raise prices when the Parliament was in session. As per Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), impact of the price reduction will be different across cities on account of local levies. The company further stated that petrol is cheaper by 95 paise in Delhi and by Rs 1.25 in Bangalore.