Indian stock market indices are trading weak over the last two hours of trade on the back of heavy selling activity across index heavyweights. Power and Oil and gas stocks witnessed maximum buying interest while Banking and IT stocks witnessed maximum selling pressure.
The BSE-Sensex is down by 107 points, while the NSE-Nifty is down by 35 points. BSE Mid Cap index and the BSE Small Cap index are down by 0.05% and 0.01% respectively. The rupee is trading at 49.31 to the US dollar.
Steel stocks are trading weak led by SAIL and Tata Steel. According to a leading financial daily, Tata Steel is planning to increase aerospace steel production in Europe by 30% in an attempt to win a bigger share of a fast growing market. The company is also investing USD $10.4 bn to start 2 new vacuum arc re-melting furnaces due to begin production of aerospace steels in early 2012. Special steel demand from the aerospace industry has been growing dramatically in the last few months and is expected to continue increasing as airlines continue to buy planes and need to retool to meet emissions standards. Vacuum arc re-melting furnaces are very small and specialised. They use vacuum conditions to purify ingots that have been created in electric arc furnaces, and the material they produce is high-end in both quality and value. Material for the new vacuum furnaces will be sourced from Tata Steel's own electric arc furnaces in Rotheram, which are fed almost exclusively with scrap sourced in the UK.
Aditya Birla Group stocks are trading mixed. Idea Cellular and Aditya Birla Nuvo are the biggest gainers while Samrudhi cement and Hindalco are the the biggest lossers. According to a leading financial daily, Aditya Birla Group is planning to bid for Australia's USD $5 bn coal miner New Hope Corp who had put itself on auction last month. The group requires thermal coal for its group companies Hindalco Industries, and Ultratech Cement. The group is expected to appoint an adviser for the bidding process soon. New Hope is considering a break-up and asset sales amid interest from global resource companies. Among those interested in the Queensland-based thermal coal producer are India's steelmaker JSW Steel, China's Yanzhou Coal Mining Company Ltd and London listed Xstrata.