Markets fall; state-run oil marketing cos up

Markets fall; state-run oil marketing cos up

Mumbai: Indian shares were trading lower on Thursday with metals stocks leading the fallers as global prices slumped, with weakness in world equities further dampening sentiment.

Non-ferrous metals producer Sterlite Industries and aluminium maker Hindalco dropped 1.7 and 2.1% respectively.

Tata Steel, which is the world’s eighth-largest steel maker by output, shed 1.6%.

By 10:11am, the 30-share BSE Index was trading down 0.69% at 16,382.42, after rising the most in six weeks on Wednesday.

Only three of its components were trading in the green.

“After the kind of rally we saw yesterday, people were bound to book profits," said Jigar Shah, vice-president of equity sales at Motilal Oswal Financial Services.

“Since there was a rally without much conviction and the market lacks momentum, weak global markets just gave people a reason to exit," Shah added.

Oil minister Murli Deora said on Wednesday the government will shortly consider a proposal that it give up control of fuel prices, a move which would ease pressure on government finances and improve earnings of oil retailers.

State-run exploration and production companies Oil & Natural Gas Corp and Oil India reversed early gains and shed 0.2% and 0.1% respectively, on concerns over the extent of implementation of the fuel pricing proposal.

“Implementation of all proposals would mean hefty price hikes," Bank of America-Merrill Lynch analysts Vidyadhar Ginde and Himanshu Bindal said in a note seen by Reuters.

“That appears very unlikely given the prevailing high inflation and the very poor track record specially on LPG-kerosene price hikes," Bank of America-Merrill Lynch added.

State-run oil marketing companies such as Bharat Petroleum Corp Hindustan Petroleum Corp and Indian Oil Corp rose 0.7-1.1%.

In the broader market, losers almost equalled the number of gainers, in a volume of 88 million shares. The 50-share NSE index was down 0.8% at 4,893.50.