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Indian markets up on Asian cue
Fri, 25 Mar 09:30 am

All major Asian stock markets have opened the day with significant gains. Stock markets in Indonesia (up 2%), China (up 1.1%), Singapore (up 1%) and Japan (up 1%) are leading the pack of gainers. Following the positive sentiment across the continent, Indian stock markets have also opened the day on a strong note. Stocks from realty, capital goods and IT space are leading the gains.

The BSE-Sensex is trading higher by around 179 points (1%), while the NSE-Nifty is up by around 54 points (1%). Mid and small cap stocks are also trading firm, with both the BSE Midcap index and BSE Small cap index up by 0.7% and 0.5% respectively. The rupee is trading at 44.63 to the US dollar.

IT stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Wipro, Infosys and TCS leading the gains. IT companies have been celebrating a better financial year as compared to last year. The industry which was suffering from the slowdown in the global economy has seen its order pipelines growing in recent times. And the signs of its revival are evident in its hiring plans. For the 9 month period from March to December 2010, the top 5 IT companies have hired 114,038 new employees on a net basis. The top 5 hiring companies include Infosys, TCS, Wipro, HCL Technologies and Cognizant. This is compared to the 47,462 net additions during the corresponding period last year. The increase in hiring directly reflects the growing fortunes of the IT companies. The lull of the recession is almost over. The companies are expecting and also receiving larger and more valuable orders as clients have opened up their purse strings to spend more towards IT. As a result the companies have been building up on their employee strength to take care of the size as well as the diversity of the projects coming their way.

Power stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Suzlon Energy, NHPC and NTPC trading in the green. The power ministry will not recommend coal linkages to central, state or independent power projects with unit size below 200 MW for projects in the 12th five-year plan, which begins in March 2012. However, the new policy will not be applicable to captive plants to be set up by industrial units. This move has come mainly to promote higher-capacity power plants that consume less fuel. The amendments have been made keeping in view the target to shift to energy-efficient technology. The government expects that supercritical technology would be used in three out of five thermal plants in the 12th plan and in all such plants by the 13th Plan. Power plants based on supercritical technology require less coal for generating the same amount.

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