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Major Asian stock markets have opened the day on an negative note with stock markets in Japan and Singapore trading lower by 0.9% and 0.6% respectively. Major indices in Europe ended their previous session in red. However, benchmark indices in US ended their previous session on an encouraging note with Dow Jones Industrial Average ending higher by 1.4%. The rupee is trading at 68.33 per US$.
Indian stock markets have opened the day in red. The BSE Sensex is trading lower by 70 points (down 0.3%) and NSE Nifty is trading lower by 22 points (down 0.3%). Both, BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap are trading lower by 0.8% and 0.5% respectively. Sectoral indices have opened in red with stocks from banking and telecommunication sectors witnessing maximum selling pressure.
As reported in a financial daily, top oil exporters Russia and Saudi Arabia have agreed to freeze production levels of oil. Reportedly, the Saudi, Qatari, Russian and Venezuelan oil ministers announced the proposal at the meeting scheduled in Doha.
These countries have started witnessing huge fiscal deficits primarily because of lower oil prices. Venezuela has been hit the hardest by the downturn in oil prices. And now, finances of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar are also deteriorating. Saudi the largest player in OPEC is running a US$ 98 billion budget deficit in the preceding year.
However, the deal is contingent on other oil producers joining in. Iran is amongst the OPEC members and has pledged to increase its output and regain its lost market share after years of international sanction on the country. Iran seems to be unbending in cutting its oil output.
Ultimately, it is tough to predict where oil prices will head next, though the long term trend suggests that oil prices cannot remain low for very long and will average at somewhere around US$ 60-65 a barrel. This is more of an average and one could see spikes and plunges along the way.
As per an article in leading financial daily, HCL Technologies has acquired external information technology (IT) business arm of Sweden's Volvo Group. The total cash consideration for this transaction is pegged at Swedish Krona 1,130 million. This acquisition will enable HCL to add 40 new customers from Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and France.
Reportedly, the company will also acquire 2,500 people working for the Volvo Group and will transfer them to HCL across eleven countries. Further, the company has also signed an IT deal with Volvo. Under the partnership, the company will create a technology transformation roadmap for optimizing Volvo Group's infrastructure and make it ready for the rapid advancements in business-enabling technology such as cloud, automation, business intelligence and big data.
Despite healthy deal momentum and a record high order book, the company's topline performance has been uninspiring in recent times. The high base and client specific issues have been key reasons for the poor performance. Further in our view there could be delivery issues as well, which could impact the company's growth. The stock is trading up by 1.6%.
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