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Weak opening for Indian stock markets
Wed, 28 Dec 09:30 am

Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note. Stock market in Malaysia (up 0.3%) and Japan (up 0%) is in the green while China (down 0.6%) and Indonesia (down 0.4%) are in the red. The Indian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note. Stocks in the Banks and Capital goods space are leading the losses while Power and Auto stocks are in the green.

The BSE-Sensex is trading lower by 40 points (0.2%) and the NSE-Nifty is down by around 16 points (0.3%). BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap stocks have opened on a mixed note, with the BSE Mid Cap indices down by 0.2% while BSE Small Cap up by 0.1%. The rupee is trading at 53.17 to the US dollar.

Power stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Tata Power, Power Grid Corporation and National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) trading in the green. State-owned power producer NTPC is set to invite expressions of interest from next month for procuring coal from foreign coal producers on a 10-15 years contract. The power major is looking forward to commencing such imports within the next financial year. It plans to start with imports of about 15-16 million tonnes (mt). Currently, NTPC consumes about 160 mt of coal per annum of which 16 mt is being imported from international spot markets. With the expected capacity additions in the next couple of years, the total coal requirement will rise to about 240 mt. NTPC intends to procure 10% of its coal requirement through the long-term import contracts. This will not only make coal available at a lesser price than the spot markets, but will also provide some amount of protection against short term fluctuations in coal price.

Energy stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Oil India and Reliance Industries in the red. The eastern offshore KG-D6 gas field production of Reliance Industries has fallen to a new low of 38.66 million cubic metres per day. This is after the company had to shut down 5 of its wells due to the problem of water ingress. Out of the 18 natural gas discoveries in the KG-D6 basin, Dhirubhai-1 and 3 fields block produced 31.83 mmcmd for the week ending December 18. The MA oilfield from the same blocks produced the remaining making a total of 38.66 mmcmd. In the previous week, the total output fell was higher at 39.8 mmcmd. Consider this with the March 2010 figure of 61.5 mmscmd achieved in March 2010. The major reason for such a decline of production can be attributed to the drop in pressure in the wells and increasing water ingress. Out of the 18 wells that were under production, 5 wells were shut due to water cut and sanding issues.

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