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Small Caps Continue to Crumble
Thu, 4 Feb Closing

Indian equity markets trimmed their early gains in the afternoon session but still finished above the dotted line owing to strong international markets. While the BSE Sensex closed higher by 115 points, the NSE Nifty closed higher by 42 points. However, the S&P BSE Midcap and the S&P BSE Small cap indices bucked this trend and closed in the red. They were down by 0.2% and 0.8% respectively. Barring healthcare and realty stocks, all the sectoral indices managed to finish in the green with metal and capital goods stocks leading the gains.

Most Asian markets closed up today, following a higher finish on Wall Street overnight amid an oil price surge . The Shanghai Composite gained 1.53% and the Hang Seng rose 1.01%. The Nikkei 225 lost 0.85%. European equities bounced back in early trade with shares in London leading the charts. The FTSE 100 is up 1.05%, while the DAX has gained 0.66%. The CAC 40 is trading flat. The rupee was trading at 67.81 against the US$ in the afternoon session.

Shares of Hindustan Unilever finished the trading day up by 1.4% on the BSE after it was reported that the company is planning to enter into spices and seasoning mixes segment under the Knorr brand.

The company is already testing the products in a few markets and will make a formal launch soon with a range of eight variants as Knorr Chef's Masalas across India. This range will also come in a special packaging that will help in convenient storage. This segment is currently dominated by domestic companies, of which many are regional and local players.

HUL is India's largest fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) company, with leadership in Home & Personal Care Products and Foods & Beverages. HUL's brands are spread across 20 distinct consumer categories. The company recently reported a revenue growth of 3% YoY during the quarter, while profits declined by 22% YoY. Here is our analysis of the results (Subscription Required).

The share price of the company has fallen more than 10% in the last six months and the company's revenue growth has fallen from double digit to single digit in recent quarters. The market capitalization of the company has plunged by about Rs 16 billion between August and December 2015 .

According to a leading financial daily, Wipro has bagged an IT infrastructure contract from RSA. RSA, has entered into a new seven-year partnership with Wipro, to deliver its IT infrastructure requirements across the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia.

Wipro will be reportedly providing infrastructure as a service for mainframe, mid-range, storage, cloud and end user services in addition to a multilingual service desk for RSA employees in all the regions. This will enable pan-European standardization, improved end-to-end responsibility and a platform for business-led collaboration. This agreement follows a 10-month sourcing program, which included 20 bidders, and reflects RSA's aim to drive benefits through the consolidation of services across its regional businesses.

Besides, the company has reportedly set a revenue target of US$15 billion from its global IT services business by 2020, with 23% operating margin. The company recently reported a 3.1% QoQ increase in sales, while net profits were flat sequentially (Subscription Required).

In other news, Ramco Systems has signed a multi-year cloud HCM deal with DHFL Pramerica Life Insurance Company in order to integrate DHFL's HR processes such as recruitment, talent management, payroll and benefits, time and leave management, and ESS for workforce in India.

Stocks from Information Technology sector finished on an encouraging note with Mphasis Ltd and Infosys Ltd leading the gains.

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Mar 23, 2018 (Close)