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Indian Stock Market News, Equity Market and Sensex Today in India | Equitymaster
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Indian share markets open firm 
(Tue, 18 Feb 09:30 am) 
Barring South Korea (down 0.4%), the major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a positive note with stock markets in Japan (up 2.2%) and Indonesia(up 0.2%) leading the gains. The Indian share markets have opened the day on a firm note as well. Barring realty, all sectoral indices have opened in the green with the stocks in the banking and healthcare space leading the gains.

The Sensex today is up by around 86 points (0.4%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by about 27 points (0.5%). The mid and small cap stocks have also opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.4% each. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 62.03 to the US dollar.

Telecom stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with AGC Networks and Reliance Communications leading the gains. However, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd (MTNL) and ADC India Communications Ltd were leading the losses. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has stated the number of telecom subscribers for the month of December 2013. The number of subscribers rose marginally on a month on month basis, from 910.14 million in November 2013 to 915.19 million in December 2013. The mobile subscriber base grew marginally to 88.63 crore while fixed line connections continued to decline to 2.88 crore at December end. While market leader Bharti Airtel added about 18 lakh customers in the month to take its user base to 19.84 crore, Vodafone topped with regards to gaining new customers. The latter added 23 lakh new customers to its network, taking its total user base to 16 crore at December end. The number of broadband subscribers reached around 55 million at the end of December, 2013.Wireless broadband service dominated this segment with over 4 crore connections while fixed line broadband user base stood at 1.45 crore. BSNL was the leader in fixed line broadband segment with 99 lakh customers while Bharti Airtel led wireless broadband market with 94.9 lakh customers.

Energy stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Indian Oil Corporation Ltd leading the gains. However, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) and GAIL (India) Ltd were leading the losses. Castrol India Ltd has announced results for quarter ending December 2013. The company has reported 6.4% YoY growth in the revenues for the quarter. For the full year, the revenues were up by 1.9% YoY. Despite challenging macro economic environment, the company's gross margins improved on the back of better realisations and effective cost management during the year. The net profit for the quarter was up 7.0% YoY. For full year, the bottomline grew by 13.7% YoY. As per the management, the growth was driven by personal mobility business which includes passenger car and two-wheeler oils. The Board of Directors of the company has recommended a final dividend of Rs 3.5 per share, subject to the approval of shareholders. Going forward, the management expects the macroeconomic environment to remain tough.

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