The Indian markets, although trading in the red, witnessed alternate bouts of buying and selling during the previous two hours of trade. Currently, stocks from the IT and telecom spaces have managed to find some favour, while those from the banking, realty and consumer durables indices are leading the pack of losers. Healthcare and metal stocks are seeing some pressure at the moment as well.
The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by around 120 points (down 0.6%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by about 45 points (down 0.8%). Stocks from the midcap and smallcap spaces are also witnessing some pressure as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading lower by 0.8% and 0.7% respectively.
Energy stocks are trading mixed with BPCL, HPCL, Indraprastha Gas and IOC posting significant gains. However, Guj State Petronet, GAIL and Guj Gas are trading weak. After being absent for about five months, ONGC has offered 600,000 barrels of February Nile Blend Crude for exports. This is coming at a time when firm diesel margins have supported crude oil prices, making exports lucrative. The state-owned firm has offered the cargo loading from Sudan by tender. ONGC has a 25% stake in the Greater Nile project, while China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) owns 40% and Malaysia's state oil company Petronas holds 30%.
Auto stocks are currently trading weak led by Hero Honda, Ashok Leyland and Escorts. A leading business daily has reported that commercial vehicle major Ashok Leyland is inaugurating its vehicle assembly plant in UAE's Ras al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA). The company had signed a MoU with RAKIA way back in October 2006 for setting up an assembly unit. However, it eventually upgraded to a vehicle assembly plant (for trucks and buses) in the second phase. Back then, the company had announced that it would be investing nearly US$ 50 m (about Rs 2.2 bn) in a phased manner. This assembly unit is believed to have an initial annual capacity for 1,000 buses of international styling, manufacture and quality. It will start operations as a bus body assembly using Ashok Leyland chassis and bus body CKD (completely knocked down) kits sent from India. It is further reported that this facility has a state-of-the-art paint plant for bus bodies, managed and operated by Ashok Leyland.