Barring Singapore (up 0.6%) and Japan (up 0.1%), major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a weak note with stock markets in China (down 0.8%) and South Korea (down 0.5%) leading the losses. The Indian share market indices have opened the day on a firm note. Stocks in the oil & gas and auto space are leading the gains.
The Sensex today is up by around 18 points (0.1%), while the NSE-Nifty is trading flat. Mid and small cap stocks are also trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.2% and 0.4% respectively. The rupee is trading at Rs 54.38 to the US dollar.
Information technology stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Oracle Financial Services and NIIT Ltd trading in the green. However, HCL Tech and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) are facing selling pressure. As per a financial daily, Wipro's energy and utilities business is currently the fastest growing business unit for the company. This has been on account of the acquisition of oil & gas practice of US-based Scientific Applications International Corp (SAIC) for about US$ 150 m in April 2011. This segment is turning out to be very lucrative for Wipro and is expected to earn the company about US$ 1 bn (approximately Rs 54 bn) in annual revenue. In the global energy industry the focus is shifting away from crude oil to shale gas and gas hydrates. This structural shift in the industry is opening up new opportunities for Wipro. BP and Royal Dutch Shell, the world's second and third largest oil companies are its clients. Wipro was earlier focussed on providing downstream IT services to oil companies mainly in Europe. The acquisition of SAIC has enabled the company to expand its client base to the US. Moreover, the company has also been able to complement its offerings with upstream services.
Mining stocks have opened the day on a weak note with Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation (India) (MMTC) and Manganese Ore (India) Limited (MOIL) leading the losses. As per a leading financial daily, mining giant Coal India Ltd (CIL) has proposed an ad-hoc provision of Rs 350 bn for acquisition and development of mines abroad by 2017. It is said that of the proposed Rs 350 bn, Rs 250 bn has been earmarked for acquisition and development of coal blocks in countries such as South Africa, Indonesia, Australia, US and Columbia. The balance Rs 100 bn have been allocated for exploration and development of two allotted coal blocks in Mozambique during the 12th five year plan (2012-2017). This will also include the creation of logistics infrastructure there. CIL has also proposed for a capital outlay of Rs 254 bn for the current five year plan. Of this, Rs 113.9 bn would be for ongoing projects, Rs 24.9 bn for new projects and Rs 70.4 bn for non-mining projects.