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Indian stock markets gain further
Thu, 2 Feb 01:30 pm

Indian stock market indices have registered further gains over the last two hours of trade on the back of heavy buying activity witnessed across industry heavyweights. Barring consumer durables and healthcare, all sector indices are trading in the green led by metal and technology stocks.

The BSE-Sensex is up by 171 points, while the NSE-Nifty is up by 44.9 points. Both BSE Small cap index and BSE Small cap index are up by 0.78% each. The rupee is trading at 49.02 to the US dollar.

Oil and Gas stocks are trading mixed with Cairn India and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals (MRPL) leading the losers and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC) and Oil India Ltd.. registering maximum gains. As per a leading financial daily, Petronet LNG has been alleged of switching to buy lean gas (that can only be used as a fuel) instead of rich gas (that could also produce petrochemicals and cooking gas). The Government has already ordered a probe into the company's gas imports. The company had opted to import rich gas as per a 13 year old contract to cater to the needs of proposed petrochemical plants which include ONGC Petro Additions Project Ltd. and Gas Authority Of India Ltd. (GAIL). It is important to note here that Petronet promoted both by ONGC and GAIL is technically a private company and is just below the threshold for government control and scrutiny by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). However, the Petroleum secretary being the chairman of the company has allowed Government to handle its affairs. The stock has been trading in the green.

Telecom stocks are mainly trading in the green led by Bharti Airtel and ITI Ltd. In a major development in the telecom sector, the Supreme Court has revoked 122 telecom licences issued after 2008 under the tenure of A Raja. While the news is negative for the companies that were involved in the case, it has given a significant boost to the share price of Bharti Airtel as it implies reduced competition and more spectrum availability. As per the Supreme Court ruling, the existing licenses will be valid for four months. During this period, the Government will decide on the fresh norms for issuing licenses. As per the industry resources, the decision is likely to impact less than 5% of the country's total mobile subscribers.

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