Aviation stocks drop after hike in ATF prices

Mumbai: Led by Kingfisher Airlines, shares of airline companies plummeted in morning trade on the BSE after state-owned oil companies hiked jet fuel, or ATF, prices by 1.5 per cent as the falling rupee made oil imports costlier.

Kingfisher Airlines tumbled by 5.75 per cent to an early low of Rs 18.85 on the BSE. Similarly, shares of Jet Airways (India) fell by 3.78 per cent to a 52-week low of Rs 226.10. SpiceJet, too, plunged by 3 per cent to an early low of Rs 20.60.

Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) prices at Delhi`s T3 airport were hiked by Rs 899 per kilo-litre (kl), or 1.5 per cent, to Rs 58,578 per kl at midnight on Friday.

IOC and other state retailers, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum, had last raised jet fuel prices by 2.5 per cent on September 16. ATF makes up for 50 per cent of an airlines` operating cost.

Meanwhile, shares of HPCL were trading higher by 2.85 per cent, BPCL was up 1.73 per cent and IOC gained 0.98 per cent in morning trade.

The fall in aviation stocks was in tandem with the overall weakness in the stock market, with the BSE benchmark Sensex trading lower by 298.47 points at 16,155.29 at 1042 hours.