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Indian share markets open firm
Tue, 24 Dec 09:30 am

Barring Indonesia (down 0.2%), all major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note with Hong Kong (up 1.2%), China (up 0.7%) and Japan (up 0.7%) leading the gains. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a positive note. Stocks in the capital goods and power space are leading the gains.

The Sensex today is up by around 40 points (0.2%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 12 point (0.2%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.7% each. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 61.95 to the US dollar.

Steel stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Adhunik Metaliks and Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) leading the gains. However, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd and Tata Sponge Iron Ltd are facing selling pressure. As per a leading financial daily, the Indian steel industry has sought imposition of 30% export duty on iron ore pellets. Currently, there is a 30% duty on exports of iron ore lumps and fines. However, there is no duty on exports of pellets. It must be noted that iron ore exports increased sharply from 2.33 million tonnes in 1QFY14 to 5.33 million tonnes in 2QFY14, a rise of 129% quarter-on-quarter. This has impacted iron ore supply for domestic steel producers at a time when iron ore supply has fallen in the country. During the six month period April-September 2013, iron ore production was down 14% to 70 million tonnes.

PSU Bank stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Dena Bank, United Bank of India and Andhra Bank leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, leading public sector lender State Bank of India (SBI) is gearing up for its mega share sale to institutional investors. To manage its qualified institutional placement (QIP), SBI has appointed five foreign banks - Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Citi, JPMorgan and UBS. The bank is likely to raise about Rs 100 bn via the share sale. The proceeds will help the bank boost its capital base. SBI is likely to conclude the share sale before the end of the current financial year 2013-14. SBI and the investment bankers are worried about the pricing of the QIP as most of the stake sales in state-owned companies recently have happened at discount to market prices.

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