Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note. Stock markets in Japan (up 0.4%), and Hong Kong (up 0.2%) are in the green while China (down 0.9%), Singapore (down 0.4%) and Indonesia (down 0.3%) are in the red. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note. Stocks in the metal and banking
space are leading the gains.
The BSE-Sensex is trading down by 45 points (0.3%) and the NSE-Nifty is down by around 15 points (0.3%). BSE Mid Cap index has opened the day in the red and is down by about 0.2%. However, small cap stocks appear to have bucked the trend and the BSE Small Cap index is up by 0.2%. The rupee is trading at 51.28 to the US dollar.
Oil&Gas stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Reliance Industries and Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) leading the losses. The fate of follow-on offer (FPO) of ONGC will be decided after the government appoints independent directors for it. A Finance Ministry official said that they will file the draft papers again after the independent directors will be appointed on the ONGC board. The FPO of ONGC was supposed to get completed by December 2011, however it was postponed on account of weak stock markets and its failure to meet the independent directors regulations of clause 49. The disinvestment department is awaiting approval from the cabinet committee on appointment of new independent director.
Steel Stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Steel Authority of India (SAIL) and Tata Steel in the red. Public sector unit, SAIL will finalize plans of a joint venture (JV) with Kobe Steel of Japan. This will be for a 0.5 m tonne (mt) mill to produce special grade steel. The plant will be located at Durgapur in West Bengal. Steel minister Beni Prasad said that SAIL will sign the contracts with Kobe Steel in a month's span. The project cost is expected to be around $400 m. This will help SAIL to learn about Kobe's patented technology which is used on value added products. Once the plant is operational, there is a possibility of doubling its capacity.