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Indian Markets Inch Upwards
Thu, 3 Mar 11:30 am

After opening the day on a firm note, the Indian Markets registered further gains. Sectoral indices are trading on a positive note with stocks from the capital goods, metal and telecom sectors leading the gains.

The BSE Sensex is trading up 261 points (up 1.1%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up 74 points (up 1%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 0.2% while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up 0.8%. The rupee is trading at 67.40 to the US$.

Energy stocks are trading on a positive note with Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Cairn India Ltd leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, India's oil imports from Iran rose by over a fifth in February.

New Delhi shipped in 2,15,500 bpd (barrels per day) from Tehran in February. This implies a rise of about 21% from last month and is almost double of the amount import in the corresponding month last year. In February 2016, Essar Oil was the biggest buyer of Iranian oil, shipping in 1,10,200 bpd. This was followed by about 69,500 bpd by Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. Further, Indian Oil Corporation, which rarely buys Iranian oil, received a cargo of oil equivalent to about 35,800 bpd. MRPL shipped in just one cargo of Iranian oil in February. It was also reported that Reliance Industries Ltd, which halted supplies from Iran in 2010, is preparing to lift a million barrels each of condensate and oil next month.

It shall be noted that India had to cut imports from Iran in February 2015 under pressure from western sanctions. All this development came after a nuclear deal that lifted restrictions on Tehran's oil exports. After the deal, Iran emerged from years of economic isolation in January when world powers led by the United States and the European Union lifted crippling sanctions against the OPEC (organisation of petroleum exporting countries) oil producer in return for curbs on Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

The development will have its implications on the Indian economy (subscription required). Now that the restrictions are lifted, it will mean more crude oil imports for India and some moderation in prices. However, one shall keep in mind that increasing import dependence does not bode well for India in the longer term. This is because the increasing oil imports will add constant pressure on the Indian rupee and could have major implications in terms of managing trade balances. Having said that, we believe that India now needs to focus on becoming self-reliant as far as its energy needs are concerned.

In another news update, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has announced that it has joined General Electric's Digital Alliance Program and will use GE's industrial internet platform to build more internet-of-things (IoT) based solutions. It was stated that the company will develop innovative digital solutions that increase the productivity of mobile workforces and assets in motion by leveraging Predix, GE's cloud platform for the industrial internet.

TCS and GE will work together to create an innovative 'industry solutions ecosystem' by leveraging TCS' comprehensive business and digital expertise to enrich GE's Predix platform. TCS has already developed new IoT solutions on the Predix platform, such as satellite image analytics, supply chain monitoring, prognostic maintenance, and engine telematics.

Moreover, TCS has the largest pool of experts trained on the Predix platform. The company is significantly expanding its global team to support the unprecedented growth in the Industrial Internet, with more than 1,000 additional developers to be trained in 2016.

TCS is a global leader in IT services, digital and business solutions. Presently its stock is trading up by 1.3%.

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