Oil stocks continue to hog the limelight on the Indian bourses, where the mood is fairly bullish this morning, amid hopes the fiscal deficit will narrow down to an extent following the hike in diesel prices.
Select stocks from capital goods, banking, realty and power sectors are trading higher. Meal and FMCG stocks have come off their higher levels. Pharmaceuticals, consumer durables, information technology and automobile stocks are trading a bit weak.
At 20.072.30, more than 50 points off the day's high of 20,126.55, the Sensex is now up 108.27 points or 0.54% from its previous closing mark. The Nifty index of the National Stock Exchange is up 31.40 points or 0.52% at 6070.60, off the day's high of 6083.40.
Among the stocks in the Oil & Gas index, ONGC (8%), Indian Oil Corporation (11%), Oil India (10%), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (8%) and BPCL (9%) are up sharply. Cairn India, Petronet LNG and Reliance Industries are trading higher by 1% - 1.6%.
GAIL India is trading stronger by 3.6%. Maruti Suzuki is up with a gain of 3.2%. State Bank of India, Coal India, ICICI Bank, Larsen & Toubro and Hindalco are up 1% - 1.6%.
Bajaj Auto, NTPC, ITC, Cipla and BHEL are up with modest gains. Reliance Industries, HDFC and HDFC Bank are trading in positive territory amid cautious moves ahead of results.
Bank of Baroda, Reliance Infrastructure, Punjab National Bank, Lupin, IDFC, HCL Technologies and Siemens are up with sharp to moderate gains.
Hero Motocorp is down 4.2% on weak results. The company has reported a 20% year-on-year decline in net profit at Rs 488 crore for the third quarter ended December 2012, due to lower sales and higher expenses. The company had posted net profit of Rs 613 crore in the same quarter of last fiscal.
Net sales grew 2.8% y-o-y at Rs 6,151 crore, while other expenses increased by 25% to Rs 625 crore during the recently concluded quarter, the company said.
Wipro is trading lower by 3.7% at Rs 415. Wipro announced this morning that net profit as per International Financial Reporting Standards rose 18% to Rs 1716 crore on 10% growth in total revenue to Rs 11,025 crore in the December 2012 quarter, over the corresponding quarter last year.
Mahindra & Mahindra is down with a loss of 3.2%. ACC, Hindustan Unilever, Ultratech Cement, DLF, Ambuja Cements, Bharti Airtel, Dr Reddy's Laboratories, Kotak Bank, Axis Bank, Asian Paints and Tata Consultancy Services are trading lower by 0.5% - 1.5%.
Exide Industries is down sharply followng the company reporting a more than 100 bps year-on-year decline in operating margins for the third quarter ended December 2012 due to higher raw material cost.
In the currency market, the rupee rose to 54.09 against the U.S. dollar in early trade, gaining 30 paise. On Thursday, the rupee had ended at 54.39, recording a gain of 30 paise, due largely to the government's decision to partly deregulate diesel prices.