The Indian markets have started today's session on a positive note. The benchmark indices opened above the breakeven mark and have stayed in the positive territory. Other key Asian markets are in the green with Indonesia (up 0.5%) leading the pack of gainers. The US markets remained closed yesterday.
Currently in India, heavyweights from the BSE-Sensex are trading strong with auto and metal majors attracting investors' interest. The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 58 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 15 points. Buying interest is also being witnessed among mid and small cap stocks as the BSE-Midcap and BSE-Smallcap indices are trading higher by 0.5% and 0.6% respectively. The rupee is trading at 46.55 to the US dollar.
Energy stocks have opened the day on a strong note. Gainers here include Indraprastha Gas and BPCL. As per a leading business daily, the oil ministry has approved part-sale of the government's stake in Indian Oil and ONGC. They decision will now go to the union cabinet for approval. Indian Oil will also do a follow-on public offer (FPO) of 10% of the expanded equity, besides the 10% stake sale by the government. Together, they will bring down government holding from 78.9% to 64.6%. The funds will go towards part-financing its capital expenditure. The company plans to invest around Rs 500 bn over the next five years towards expanding its refining and petrochemical capacities. In the case of ONGC, the government will offload 5% stake. Its shareholding in ONGC will reduce from 74.1% to 69.1%.
Aluminium stocks have opened the day on a positive note. Gainers here include Hindalco and NALCO. As per a leading business daily, Novelis, an arm of Hindalco, plans to close down its foil rolling and packaging manufacturing facility in Bridgnorth, UK, by next year. Processes in this facility will be consolidated and moved to other plants in Europe. The decision is subject to consultation with the plant's 319 employees. The proposal aims to improve the competitiveness of Novelis' overall European foil and packaging operations in response to over capacity in the European foil market. It is not because of any performance issues at Bridgnorth. Increasing competition from low-cost countries, poor market conditions and high exposure to currency fluctuations are affecting Novelis. Novelis is the global leader in aluminum rolled products and beverage can recycling.