The sell-off across Asian stock markets continues after yesterday's break. Led by yesterday's weakness in the US markets, the key Asian markets have opened today deep in the red. While China is down 3%, Hong Kong and Japan are down 1.1% and 0.4% respectively. As for the Indian markets, these have also opened weak today. Metal stocks are currently leading the losses.
The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by around 140 points (0.7%), while the NSE-Nifty is down about 40 points (0.7%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the negative, with the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices down by 0.4% and 0.5% respectively. The rupee is trading at 45.81 to the US dollar.
India's biggest engineering company, L&T has announced its plans to target up to US$ 2 bn of orders a year for nuclear power equipments. This is in line with India's plans to increase atomic energy capacity by 15 times over the next 20 years. India plans to increase its nuclear power capacity to 63,000 MW by 2032 from the current capacity of 4,560 MW. Currently, L&T is the only company that can do a complete turnkey nuclear power station. It is currently building a Rs 17.5 bn nuclear forgings plant at Hazira in western India. This is in partnership with Nuclear Power Corp. and will be commissioned for production by July next year. Last year, the company signed preliminary agreements GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, Westinghouse Electric Co., and Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., in preparation for a surge in nuclear plant orders.
State owned BPCL has announced the discovery of a major natural gas field in offshore Mozambique. However, it has not released any estimates of the reserves. BPCL and Videocon Industries have a 10% interest each in the offshore exploration block. Other members of the consortium include US firm Anadarko Petroleum, Cove Energy, Mitsui and Mozambique national oil firm Empressa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos. The consortium plans to continue to drill the exploration well to a total depth of 4,850 meters to evaluate a deeper zone. This is the third natural gas discovery for the consortium, the earlier ones being Windjammer and Barquentine.