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Indian share markets open firm
Wed, 19 Feb 09:30 am

Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with South Korea (down 0.5%) and Japan (down 0.5%) leading the losses. However, markets in China (up 0.6%) and Singapore (up 0.5%) are trading in the green. The Indian share markets have opened the day on a firm note. Stocks in the healthcare and information technology space are leading the gains.

The Sensex today is up by around 50 points (0.2%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 14 points (0.2%). The midcap and smallcap stocks have also opened in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices trading higher by 0.5% each. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 62.42 to the US dollar.

Oil & gas stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Castrol India Ltd and Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd (CPCL) leading the gains. However, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) are trading in the red. As per a leading financial daily, ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the fully owned overseas subsidiary of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), has inked contracts with Oil India Ltd (OIL) to explore oil and gas in two areas in Bangladeshi waters. On Monday, an equal joint venture between the two entities signed production sharing contracts (PSC) for shallow water blocks SS-04 and SS-09 in Bangladesh. Under this contract, OVL and OIL will spend US$ 103.2 million during the initial exploration of the two blocks. It must be noted that the Bangladesh government had launched the Offshore Bidding Round in December 2012. OVL and OIL had formed a consortium (50:50) and had participated in this bidding round. Later in August 2013, the consortium was official notified as the winner of two shallow water blocks.

MNC pharma stocks have mainly opened the day on a firm note with Pfizer and Abbott India leading the gains. Glaxosmithkline Pharmaceuticals Ltd has announced the results for the quarter ended December 2013. During the quarter, the company's net sales declined by 4% YoY to Rs 6,306 m. At the operating level, profits plunged by 39.9% YoY to Rs 1,182 m. Operating profit margins contracted from 29.7% in 4QFY13 to 18.6% in 4QFY14. At the bottomline level, net profit for the quarter was lower by 15.6% YoY at Rs 1,169 m. Net profit margin declined from 20.9% in 4QFY13 to 18.3% in 4QFY14.

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