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Markets close the week 3.6% lower
Fri, 22 Mar Closing

The Indian stock markets initially opened the day on a positive note. However, they couldn't hold their ground and moved lower shortly after opening. However they once again moved up just before the closing session. However, they couldn't hold their ground till the finish. Markets moved lower and finally closed well below the dotted line in the final hour of trade. The markets closed in the red everyday this week and finally ended 3.6% lower during the week. The BSE-Sensex closed negative, lower by around 57 points (0.3%). The NSE-Nifty closed lower by around 7 points (0.1%). The smaller indices also had a negative day on the bourses. The BSE Mid Cap index closed 0.3% lower and the BSE Small Cap index closed around 1% lower. Power and metal stocks closed higher. Consumer durables and realty stocks closed lower.

As regards global markets, Asian indices had a mixed outing today. European indices also opened the day mixed. The rupee was trading at Rs 54.38 to the dollar at the time of writing.

State-owned renewable energy power company National Hydroelectric Power Corp. (NHPC Ltd) crashed by 6.4% in trade today. This was after 19 cases of alleged corruption and irregularities in the company's projects came to light. These cases, pertaining to the construction work of various projects of NHPC, have been reported during the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, according to Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia. The allegations included corruption in the form of various claims awarded to contractors on breaching of coffer dams in NHPC projects, and complaints against officers of the company regarding irregularities or malpractices at Dhauliganga Power Station of NHPC. Over 500 people displaced and affected by hydro and thermal power projects in the North- eastern states. We just wonder how many more skeletons are in the closets of various public sector companies.

Wipro Ltd recently won a US$ 200 m contract from Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI). This comes as the biggest healthcare outsourcing order for India's third-largest software services provider after Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Infosys. Wipro will manage computer systems, networks, data centres and servers for more than 3 years for Catholic Health Initiatives. CHI is the second-largest non-profit healthcare chain in the US. Indian software service providers are poised to get billions of dollars worth of orders from US healthcare service providers, which are racing against time to upgrade existing infrastructure. US President Barack Obama's healthcare legislation-the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare will come into effect from 1 January 2014. The US healthcare outsourcing market is currently estimated to be about US$20 bn, according to figures provided by outsourcing advisory firm Everest Group and will be a huge segment for software companies who have been facing issues post the 2008 financial crisis (since banking and financial services) were their major clients. The stock was up 0.4% in trade today.

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Feb 19, 2018 02:21 PM