The Sensex today is trading higher by about 30 points (up 0.2%), while NSE-Nifty is trading higher by about 6 points (up 0.1%). Stocks from the midcap and smallcap spaces are trading higher with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by about 0.3% each. The rupee is trading at 54.3 to the US dollar.
Stocks from the oil & gas space are trading firm with Reliance Industries and Essar Oil being the key gainers. As per a leading financial daily, public sector oil market companies, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) are gearing up to float a Rs 35 bn global tender to procure ethanol. This move comes after the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has made 5% ethanol blending with petrol mandatory for oil marketing companies (OMCs). The ethanol blended petrol (EBP) programme is in effect in 13 states out of the 19 states mandated. The success of the tender will determine the feasibility of the nation-wide launch of the EBP programme, the deadline for which has been deferred to June 2013 from December 2012.
Retail inflation numbers for the month of November 2012 were reported recently. The same is believed to have stood at 9.9%, which is higher by about 0.24% as compared to the previous month. As per official data released today, retail inflation numbers in rural areas stood at 9.97% (9.9% in October 2012) while that in urban areas came in at 9.69% (9.46% in October). During the month, the oil and fats segment saw the highest inflation of 17.67%, while prices of sugar, pulses & products and vegetables were higher by 16.97%, 14.19% and 14.74% respectively. With retail inflation levels seemingly above the comfort zone, all eyes will be on the RBI governor as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) mid-quarter monetary policy review is due on December 18.