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Stock markets lose further ground
Thu, 24 Nov 11:30 am

Indian stock market indices have lost further ground after opening marginally weak today. All sectoral indices are trading in the red led by Consumer durables and metals.

The BSE-Sensex is trading down by 130 points and NSE-Nifty is trading weak by 39 points. However, BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices are trading lower by 1% and 0.8% respectively. The rupee is trading at 52.21 to the US dollar.

Retailing stocks are trading strong on news of FDI announcement to be made today. The gains are led by Koutons Retail and Pantaloon. According to a leading financial daily, the cabinet is likely to decide on raising FDI limit in single brand retail to 100% from existing 51% and allowing 51% FDI in multi brand retail. For cash and carry business, India presently permits 100% FDI. The decision would follow the suggestions made by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). Global retailers like Wal-Mart, Carrefour and Metro have been pushing for allowing FDI in retail. The Indian retailers fell that opening up of the segment would help them source much needed funds for growth as well as gain expertise from their foreign counterparts. The retailing stocks are trading up at the moment despite broader markets falling.

Oil & Gas stocks are trading weak. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and Castrol are the top losers. As per a financial daily, Indraprastha Gas is keen to buy the stake of British Gas (BG) in Mahanagar Gas Ltd. The 49.75% stake of BG is up for grabs and this provides opportunities for energy companies to expand their presence. British Gas is also looking at exiting Gujarat Gas. Indraprastha Gas is promoted by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and GAIL. It may be noted here that Mumbai based Mahanagar provides piped-natural gas to around 0.5 m homes and 1200 commercial establishments. It also supplies compressed natural gas to gas stations and dispensing points in Mumbai. As per industry experts, this deal could be beneficial for GAIL as it would help in establishing it is a leader in city gas distribution.

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