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The Indian markets had a rather volatile trading session today as the indices oscillated to either side of the dotted line. At the closing bell, the BSE-Sensex closed lower by about 100 points, while the NSE-Nifty finished lower by about 32 points as the sentiments were hurt by weak Asian markets and falling crude oil prices. Stocks from the auto and oil & gas sectors were the least preferred today, while those from the banking and IT spaces were in demand. S&P BSE Mid Cap also finished below the dotted line (down 0.3). However, S&P BSE Small Cap bucked this trend and finished the day higher by 0.5%.
Shares in Japan fell sharply in a volatile session on Thursday, dragging most Asian markets into the red, while stocks in Shanghai dropped sharply at the close. The Shanghai Composite is down 3.23%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 is off 2.43% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng is lower by 1.70%. Meanwhile, European markets are trading higher today after a day of selling pressure with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX is up 0.19%, while France's CAC 40 is up 0.18% and London's FTSE 100 is up 0.17%. The rupee was trading at 68.06 against the US$ at the time of writing.
Shares of Tech Mahindra finished the trading day in the positive after it was reported that the company and WSJ Custom Studios, have entered into a three-year partnership. According to this, the two organisations will develop content on thought leadership issues that will challenge CEOs, CIOs and businesses on the state of increasingly connected world. WSJ Custom Studios is the content marketing division of The Wall Street Journal's advertising department.
Reportedly, the multi-media custom-content program will challenge conventional thinking, drive conversation and illustrate the potential benefits of growing connectivity through information and entertainment across print and digital media, tablet and mobile, video, graphic solutions, social media and events.
Also in other news, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), along with Tech Mahindra, also recently announced its intention to acquire Italian car designer Pininfarina SpA (Subscription Required). Accordingly, both M&M and Tech Mahindra, through a special purpose vehicle (SPV), will buy a 76.06% stake in the Italian car designer for around 25.3 million euros.
Moving onto the news from Oil & Gas sector, according to a leading financial daily, Cairn India is leveraging latest technologies from North America to unlock the tight oil potential of its Rajasthan block. This has led to average production of 5,500 barrels of oil per day (bopd) from tight oil reservoir in the Barmer Hill and satellite fields in the block.
Reportedly, of the 2 billion barrels of in-place resources in Barmer Hill, recovery of 10-15% is expected across the various fields, starting with Mangala and Aishwariya (other fields in the block). However, the challenge is that exploiting tight oil could be about US$8-10/barrel expensive than taking out conventional hydrocarbon. The company managed to reduce well costs by nearly 15% and realised better cost efficiency for drilling and completion of well at Barmer Hill tight reservoir formation over one year.
In other news, Cairn India told Delhi High Court that the government will have to bear a loss of Rs 14 billion as the company was forced to sell its share of crude from its Rajasthan oil field to private players at prices 20% less than the global rates.
Shares of Cairn India have lost close to 53% of their value since 2015, while the benchmark Sensex is down 12% during the period.
The central bureau of excise and customs, which comes under the ministry of finance, recently increased the excise duty on both petrol as well as diesel. This after the price of the Indian basket of barrel crude oil had fallen to $26.43 per on January 14, 2016. This is the eighth increase in excise duty on customs since November 2014. The excise duty on petrol and diesel has gone up by 607% and 573% respectively during this period. Vivek Kaul, Editor of Vivek Kaul's Diary, has explained how a the government has captured in large chunk of the gain on account of lower oil prices.
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