All attempts to claw back into the positive territory during the closing hours were thwarted and consequently, the benchmark indices in the Indian stock market ended the first day of the week in the red. BSE-Sensex edged lower by around 140 points, also ending below 19k whereas NSE-Nifty closed around 50 points below its previous closing. BSE Midcap and BSE Small cap indices were not spared either, closing lower by around 1% each. On the Sensex, one stock gained for every four that declined.
Asian indices closed mixed today whereas Europe has opened mostly on a positive note. The rupee was trading at Rs 44.3 to the dollar at the time of writing.
India's markets edged lower today even as crude oil declined by 1% on the back of the news of death of Osama Bin Laden, one of the world's most feared terrorists. While lower oil prices will certainly help, it is not the only reason Indian markets have moved in a range bound manner for quite some time now. Inflation in other commodities has also proved to be problematic and unless most of these concerns are addressed, a major breakthrough rally that could take Sensex beyond 21k looks unlikely to happen in the near term.
On a day when IT majors ended mostly in the red, Tech Mahindra was one of the few companies that bucked the trend and closed marginally in the positive. The optimism could be due to the fact that the company is believed to have signed a multi-million dollar deal, as one of the preferred BPO partners for strategic outsourcing with a full-service telecommunications company in Philippines. The deal has been spread over a period of 3 years. What more, the company has also announced that it will set up a BPO operation in the country. Infact, it has already recruited 600 associates locally. This is not the first instance of the company setting up offshore centres. Last year, Tech Mahindra forayed into the African geography, opening centres in seven countries to serve clients in that region.
Voltas, the engineering major has received a consideration to the tune of Rs 1.1 bn for the transfer of one of its businesses. The business in question is the company's material handling business of development, manufacturing, marketing, sales and service of forklift trucks and warehousing equipment and all ancillary activities. Post the transfer, the company will cease to have the majority ownership in the business with the same turning into a JV. The majority in the JV will then be commanded by Linde Material Handling Asia Pacific, an affiliate of KION Group, Germany. However, the JV company will have the licence to use the 'Voltas' brand name and its products can also be manufactured at the company's Thane plant. In view of the positive development, the stock closed positive on the bourses today.