Women exercising are reflected in a window at a securities exchange firm in Shanghai, China. (Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Stocks Radar: BPCL, HPCL, Mahanagar Gas, ONGC

Indian equity benchmarks fell led by losses in oil marketing companies, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd., Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.

The S&P BSE Sensex index fell as much as 0.4 percent to 33,756.5, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index fell as much as 0.3 percent to 10,364.6.

The market breadth was firmly tilted in the favour of the sellers. Fourteen out of 19 sector gauges compiled by the BSE Ltd. were trading lower led by the S&P BSE Oil and Gas Index's 1.8 percent loss. On the flipside, S&P BSE Information Technology Index was the top sectoral gainer up 1 percent.

Here Are The Stocks Moving The Markets This Morning:

Oil Retailers Fall On Government Diktat

Shares of the government-owned oil retailers fell sharply after a report by Bloomberg quoting sources said the government has asked the companies to absorb up to Re 1 per litre rise in fuel prices.

  • HPCL: Shares fell as much as 7.5 percent, most in seven months, to Rs 337.5
  • IOC: Shares fell as much as 5.9 percent, most in a little over five months, to Rs 168.6
  • BPCL: Shares fell as much as 5.9 percent, most in seven months, to Rs 424.2.

The government is also said to have ruled out an excise duty cut since it is not seen favourable as the revenue collection has been hit due to the roll-out of Goods and Services Tax.

ONGC: In Talks For A Deal

Shares of the oil explorer and producer rose as much as 2.9 percent to Rs 185.5.

Ecuador held talks with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. for investments in upstream oil projects, according to a Bloomberg report. ONGC was offered two projects by Ecuador.

The stock rose for the third consecutive session this week. Trading volume surged to eight times the 20-day average. It has fallen 5 percent so far this year. That compares with a 7.5 percent fall in the S&P BSE Oil & Gas Index.

Phoenix Mills: Investment Buzz

Shares of the Mumbai-based real estate services firm rose as much as 4 percent to Rs 597.8.

The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board invested additional Rs 938 crore into Island Star malls developers, a strategic investment platform it co-owns with Phoenix Mills Ltd., according to latter’s statement. With this move, the investment board has increased its investment into investment platform to a total of Rs 1,660 crore for a 49 percent stake, with Phoenix owning the balance.

The news helped the stock snap a three-day decline with trading volume rising 8.7 times the 20-day average.

Punjab National Bank: Ratings Downgrade

Shares of the state-run bank fell as much as 2 percent, most in two weeks to Rs 103.1.

Fitch Ratings downgraded the viability rating of Punjab National bank to ‘BB-’ from ‘BB’. The rating agency said it expects the losses from the Rs 13,000 crore fraud to affect the bank’s financials.

The stock has lost around 29 percent since Feb.14, when the scam was first reported. Trading volume of the stock was almost the same as the 20-day average.

Mahanagar Gas: Multiple Block Deals

Shares of the Mumbai based natural gas distributor fell as much as 4.2 percent, the most in two months, to Rs 905.

Around 7.6 percent of Mahanagar Gas Ltd.’s equity, equivalent to 74.7 lakh shares of changed hands in two block deals. Reports had earlier emerged that the company’s promoter would be looking to sell stake.

The stock is down for a third day and has lost 16 percent so far this year in market value, compared 0.5 percent drop for the Sensex.

Buyers were not immediately known.

Other Stocks Reacting To Block Deals

Kwality:

  • 15.2 lakh shares changed hands in a single block
  • Shares of Kwality Ltd. rose as much as 3.1 percent to Rs 58.4