The major Asian stock markets have opened the day in the green with stock markets in Indonesia (up 0.9%) and Taiwan (up 0.8%) leading the gains. However, the Indian share market indices have opened the day on a weak note. The sectoral indices have opened mixed with stocks in the software and capital goods space leading the losses. However, stocks in the metal and consumer durable space were trading firm.
The Sensex today is down by around 60 points (0.3%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 18 points (0.3%). Mid and small cap stocks have, however, opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.1% each. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 61.99 to the US dollar.
Cement stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with The Ramco Cements and Heidelberg Cement (India) Ltd leading the gains. However, India Cements and Ambuja Cements were facing losses. As per a leading financial daily, UltraTech Cement Ltd is planning to set up a cement plant with a production capacity of 5.5 Million Metric Tonnes Per Annum (MMTPA) and a 75 mega watt (MW) captive power plant in Tamil Nadu. The investment for the project is expected to be around Rs 25 bn. The company has got approval from Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) under the Ministry of Environment for the proposed facility. The plant is coming at villages in Karur and Dindigul districts and will be based on the dry process technology for cement manufacturing with pre-heater and pre-calciner technology. The coal requirement for the project will be met by importing it from Indonesia and South Africa, on an interim basis. For petcoke, the company will rely on supply from Reliance Industries Limited, Jamnagar.
Mining stocks have opened on a mixed note with Sesa Sterlite Ltd and Gujarat NRE Coke Ltd leading the pack of gainers. However, Ashapura Minechem and MOIL Ltd have opened in the red. As per a leading financial daily, Coal India Ltd (CIL) may adopt the public-private partnership (PPP) model to harness the coal bed methane (CBM) opportunity from its existing mines. The sources close to the development have stated that the company is unlikely to invest in developing CBM. Instead, it will appoint an operator for the same on turnkey basis to bring in resource and technology. The company intends to select the operator who will share maximum revenue, irrespective of whether it is a private entity or public entity. The tender inviting expression of interest is expected by March, 2014. The gas extraction is expected to help CIL unlock around 100 million tonne (MT) of medium grade coking coal and about 1 Trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas.