Fears surrounding Europe's debt crisis have led the Asian markets to open the day on a weak note. China, Hong Kong and Singapore are the biggest losers. However, Japan has opened the day in the green. The Indian markets have followed the Asian cue and have opened in the red as well. Stocks from realty and consumer durables sectors are the main losers.
The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by around 171 points (-0.9%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by about 59 points (-0.9%). Mid and small cap stocks are trading in the negative as well, with the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices down by -0.7% and -0.6% respectively. The rupee is trading at 45.49 to the US dollar.
Oil & gas stocks have opened the day in the red. Currently Reliance Industries, BPCL and ONGC are the main losers. Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has awarded a contract worth Rs 14 bn to Essar Projects Ltd. The order is for setting up a 15 m tonnes per annum oil refinery in Paradip, Orissa. IOC has mandated EPIL for the Lump Sum Turn Key (LSTK) Package A for the main refinery units. The first phase of the project is scheduled to be completed in 17 months. The scope for the contract includes process design, engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning and performance testing of the core processes units of the refinery. The project is said to play an important part in satisfying the rising domestic demand for fuel. The stock is currently trading in the green.
Auto stocks are also witnessing selling pressure. The main laggards are Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland. Tractor and utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has inked the deal with South Korea's Ssangyong Motors. M&M will buy Ssangyong for US$ 464 m. M&M was chosen as a preferred bidder in August. The acquisition will help Mahindras to build a global footprint as the Korean maker of the Rexton and Kyron SUVs also exports to Russia, Europe, China, and the Middle East. The management of M&M stated that the Korean maker's bigger and more expensive SUVs will not clash with M&M's current product lineup in any way. M&M will now pick out internal candidates for the Korean operations.