Barring Malaysia (up 0.1%), major Asian stock markets have opened the day in the red with stock markets in China (down 1.1%) and Hong Kong (down 1.2%) leading the losses. The Indian share markets indices have opened the day on a weak note as well. Barring FMCG and healthcare, all sectoral indices have opened in the red with the stocks in the capital goods and banking space leading the losses.
The Sensex today is down by around 77 points (0.4%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 26 points (0.4%). Mid and small cap stocks have also opened in the red with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices down by around 0.1% each. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 61.36 to the US dollar.
Energy stocks have opened the day mainly in the red with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) and Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd (CPCL) leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd's (ONGC) overseas arm ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Ecuador for cooperation in identification and possible exploration of oil and gas. Ecuador is a member of the oil cartel Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and produces about 500,000 barrels of crude oil daily. As per the pact, the Coordinating Ministry for Strategic Sectors of Ecuador will make available information regarding oil and gas projects in Ecuador to OVL. Based on the information, OVL will identify projects of its interest and could propose participation through specific definitive agreements.
Mining stocks have opened the day mainly in the red with Ashapura Minechem Ltd and Coal India Ltd (CIL) being the biggest losers. As per a leading financial daily, CIL has been slapped with a penalty of Rs 17.7 bn by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for allegedly abusing dominant position in supply of the dry fuel. CIL enjoys an undisputed dominance in the market for production and supply of non-coking coal in the country. The ruling has come in response to complaints filed by Maharashtra State Power Generation Company and Gujarat State Electricity Corporation against CIL and its three subsidiaries - Mahanadi Coalfields, Western Coalfields, South Eastern Coalfields. According to the release, CIL and its subsidiaries have been found to be imposing unfair conditions in Fuel Supply Agreements (FSAs) with the power producers for supply of non-coking coal and violating fair trade norms. Besides, CCI has directed modification of FSAs and asked CIL to consult all the stakeholders for making the modifications in the FSAs.