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Sensex Opens Strong; Nifty at All Time high
Tue, 25 Apr 09:30 am

Asian stock markets are higher in today's trade buoyed by Wall Street gains as well as relief that North Korea did not conduct another missile test to mark a military anniversary. The Shanghai Composite is up 0.32% while the Hang Seng is up 0.93%. The Nikkei 225 is up by 0.84%. Stock markets in Europe and US finished on a strong note after centrist candidate and market favorite Emmanuel Macron won the first round of the French presidential election.

Meanwhile, Indian share markets have opened the day on a strong note. BSE Sensex is trading higher by 157 points and NSE Nifty is trading higher by 48 points. Meanwhile, S&P BSE Mid Cap and S&P BSE Small Cap are trading higher by 0.7% and 0.6% respectively. Gains are largely seen in realty stocks, oil & gas stocks and consumer durables stocks.

The rupee is trading at 64.48 against the US$.

Reliance Industries share price surged 3% in early trade after the company reported a 12.3% increase in its consolidated March quarter profit, boosted by higher refining margins and better earnings from its petrochemical unit.

India's finished steel products output is likely to increase to 88.6 million tonnes (MT) in the current year. The country's finished steel output is also likely to increase to 94.9 MT in 2018. According to World Steel Association which released its Short Range Outlook (SRO) for 2017 and 2018, the country produced 83.5 MT of finished steel products last year.

The production of steel is expected to grow due to growing economy and increasing urbanization. Finished steel products are those which are obtained upon hot rolling/forging of semi-finished steel -- blooms, billets, slabs. These cover two broad categories, namely long products and flat products.

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As per World Steel Association, steel demand in the emerging and developing economies, including China, which accounts for 30% of world total, is expected to grow by 4% in 2017 and 4.9% in 2018.

Meanwhile, the government's proposal to give domestic steel companies a preference in government projects should protect them from cheaper imports. In February, domestic steel output rose by 12.9% YoY, as large private steel producers such as Tata Steel and JSW Steel ramped up output. Imports during the first eleven months of FY17 dropped by 39% YoY.

No Takers For Domestic Steel

But the bigger concern is weak consumption growth. The consumption data over the past few months clearly show that there are no takers for domestic steel. So steel makers have been forced to export more, with overseas shipments up by 78% YoY in the fiscal till February.

Steel stocks began the day on a mixed note with JSW Steel share price and Tata Sponge share price leading the gains.

Moving on to the news from software stocks. As per an article in a leading financial daily, HCL Technologies (HCL) has entered an agreement to acquire Urban Fulfillment Services, LLC, (UFS). UFS is a provider of mortgage business process & fulfillment services.

Reportedly, the acquisition of UFS will strengthen HCL's capabilities in mortgage BPO services, loan fulfillment and debt servicing space. The move comes as the company looks to bolster its presence in the mortgage business process outsourcing market.

HCL will buy the US-based company in an all-cash deal for a total consideration of up to US$30 million. The transaction is expected to be completed by June 2017, subject to certain closing conditions and customer approvals.

Further, Urban Fulfillment Services had a turnover of US$48 million for the financial year ended 31 December 2016. The company, which has been undergoing restructuring, has more than 350 employees. HCL will be acquiring 100% stake in UFS, the reports noted.

One must note that, HCL has been actively chasing its inorganic growth strategy. In October last year, it agreed to acquire Butler America Aerospace, LLC for US$85 million in cash. In April 2016, it announced to buy the IT business of Geometric for US$190 million and had acquired the external IT business of Sweden's Volvo Group in February that year.

HCL Technologies share price opened the day up by 0.6% on the BSE

Wipro share price began the trading day up by 0.6% ahead of the quarterly earnings report to be declared later in the day. As per the reports, The IT firm is expected to report a flattish organic revenue growth for the quarter ended March 31.

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Nov 23, 2017 (Close)