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Indian share markets open firm
Wed, 19 Dec 09:30 am

The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in Japan (up 1.1%), Hong Kong (up 0.7%) and South Korea (up 0.5%) leading the gains. However, the stock markets in China (down 0.2%) and Indonesia (down 0.4%) have opened on a weak note. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a firm note. All sectoral indices have opened in green with stocks in the auto and consumer durables space leading the gains.

The Sensex today is up by around 124 points (0.6%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 30 points (0.5%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.6% and 0.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.80 to the US dollar.

Energy stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Cairn India Ltd and Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd as the top losers. However, Jindal Drill and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd are witnessing buying interest. As per a leading financial daily, Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) has completed work on the first phase of liquefied natural gas (LNG) pipeline meant to connect the new LNG terminal at Kochi to consumers in Karnataka and Kerala. Thus, it is now ready for gas intake depending on gas availability from Petronet LNG. Work on 879 km Phase II is underway which will pass through the states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It is important to note here that the entire project was scheduled to get completed by December 2012, however it has been delayed. As of now, the actual physical progress of the project is 64.1%. Petronet LNG is in the process of building a 5 million tonne per annum (mtpa) LNG import terminal at Kochi which is expected to get completed in first quarter of 2013.

Auto stocks have opened the day on a positive note with Maharashtra Scooters and Tata Motors Ltd leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) has bought out 49% stake from Navistar group in its joint venture Mahindra Navistar Automotives Limited (MNAL) and Mahindra Navistar Engines Private Limited (MNEPL) for Rs 1.75 bn. Both MNAL and MNEPL will become wholly owned subsidiaries of M&M. The deal is expected to get completed in the beginning of 2013 after getting required approvals in India. As per the agreement, post the deal, Navistar can continue to source components from India and Mahindra would continue to provide engineering services to Navistar. Navistar is a US truck maker and has been facing regulatory challenges in the recent past. It has also received acquisition threats from some private equity investors and global auto companies.

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Mar 19, 2018 (Close)