Barring Taiwan (down 0.2%), the major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a positive note with stock markets in China (up 0.5%) and Singapore (up 0.8%) leading the gains in the region. Indian share market indices have opened the day on a flat note. Barring metal and oil and gas, all sectoral indices have opened in the green led by the stocks in the consumer durables and capital goods space.
The Sensex today is up by around 12 points (0.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 3 points (0.0%). Mid and small cap stocks have opened in the green as well with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.4% each. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.31 to the US dollar.
Power stocks have opened on a mixed note with India Bulls Power and Reliance Power leading the gains. However, Jaiprakash Power and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) witnessed selling pressure. As per a leading financial daily, NTPC may consider downsizing its Katwa project in West Bengal by half so that it can be built within the 550 acres that has been allocated to the company by the state. West Bengal has so far allocated only 550 acres of land whereas the project requirement is 1200 acre. As per the management, it may set the plant with original capacity in case the government gives it an additional 250 acres of land nearby. The downsizing options include cutting the capacity to 800 megawatt (MW) from 1600 MW. Earlier, the company had shifted a similar project out of Odisha to Madhya Pradesh due to problems with land acquisition. The company has said that it does not want to abandon the project in this case. The state government has ruled out acquiring land for industry. Instead it wants companies to acquire land directly from farmers.
Oil and Gas stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Gujarat State Petronet Ltd (GSPL) and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) leading the pack of gainers. However, Cairn India Ltd and Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd (CPCL) witnessed selling pressure. As per a leading financial daily, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has opposed the oil regulator Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board's (PNGRB)move to make marketing margin of domestically produced natural gas uniform. This will give gas importers and sellers of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Piped Natural Gas (PNG) a free hand. The company has said that there is no legal basis to regulate the levy. They have also alleged that such a move will be a gross discrimination. RIL has said that the marketing margin on gas is charged to cover costs and risks associated with marketing of natural gas which are not uniform and vary depending upon the Gas Sales and Purchase Agreement (GSPA). Hence; it would be unfair to make it uniform for all companies. While the Government had ruled out reopening of gas price before expiry of the five year signed period, the acceptance of PNGRB's recommendations would mean the signed contracts between buyers and sellers are reopened before the five year period.