Steel stocks slide

Five steel stocks declined by 0.18% to 2.40% on BSE after the Government termed the recent price hike by steel companies as unreasonable and said that it would review the move by 15 February 2008.

Tata Steel fell 2.40% to Rs 783.50, JSW Steel declined 2.02% to Rs 1,127.80, Steel Authority of India (Sail) slipped 1.69% to Rs 226.80, Bhushan Steel skid 0.71% to Rs 1112, Jindal Stainless shed 0.18% to Rs 169. However, Ispat Industries was up 0.68% to Rs 44.50.

As at 12.06 IST, the BSE Sensex was down 94.78 points, or 0.51%, to 18,565.54 as Asian stocks slipped after a wave of broker downgrades on Wall Street on Monday, 4 February 2008, sparked fresh worries about the health of the US financial sector.

The BSE Metal index was down 0.65% to 16,331.20. The BSE Metal index had underperformed the market in the one month to 4 February 2008, falling 19.01% as against the Sensex's 9.80% decline. It had also underperformed the market in the past three months, slipping 4.46% against the Sensex's 3.82% slide.

The price monitoring committee in the Steel Ministry has already been instructed to look into the recent hike by the domestic steel manufacturers and the report is likely to be ready in the next five days, the Union Minister for Steel, Chemicals and Fertilisers, Ram Vilas Paswan, told media on the sidelines of an event organised by Steel Authority of India (Sail) on Monday, 4 February 2008.

Earlier this month, major domestic steel producers including Sail, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam, Tata Steel, Essar Steel, and Ispat industries had increased prices by Rs 1000 to Rs 2,500 per tonne across various products.

In January 2008, while the public sector companies had increased prices by Rs 500 to Rs 1,500 per tonne, private companies had hiked prices by Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 per tonne