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Sensex Ends Day in the Green; ITC up by 6%
Mon, 22 May Closing

After opening the day on a positive note, share markets in India continued the momentum and ended the day in green. Gains were largely seen in the FMCG sector and consumer durables sector, while stocks in the PSU sector ended the day in red.

At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 106 points (up 0.4%) and the NSE Nifty closed higher by 10 points (up 0.1%). The BSE Mid Cap index ended the day down by 1.2%, while the BSE Small Cap index ended the day down by 1.1%.

Meanwhile, ITC share price closed near record-high levels on sustained buying after the GST council announced various tax rates, which were viewed as favorable for the company.

ITC had witnessed months of pain on the back of an uncertainty in the GST tax rates on cigarettes. However, with the tax slabs fixed in the range of 5-28%, coupled with a cess cap of 15%, taxation on cigarettes are set to be lower.

Asian stock markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Hang Seng dropped 0.14% and the Nikkei gained 0.25%. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.74%. European markets too are trading mixed today. The FTSE 100 is up 0.59% while Germany's DAX is trading flat and France's CAC 40 is down 0.29%. The rupee was trading at 64.09 to the US$ at the time of writing.

Aided by government's various initiatives to improve ease of doing business, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flow into India increased 8% in fiscal year 2016-17 to touch a new high. According to the statistics released by Ministry of Commerce and Industry, FDI increased to US$60.1 billion in fiscal year 2016-17 from previous high of US$55.6 billion in fiscal year 2015-16.

The Commerce and Industry Ministry has said that during the last three years, the government eased foreign investment norms in 21 sectors covering 87 areas.

It also said that the country has now become an attractive destination for foreign investment, noting that the FDI flows increased by 62% to US$ 99.7 billion as compared to US$ 61.4 billion during the previous 30 months (April 2012 to September 2014), on the back of 'Make in India' initiative.

FDI is considered crucial for economic development of a country and to attract maximum FDI into the country, the government has been relaxing the foreign investment norms in various sectors. At present, the government is mulling easing FDI policy on construction, print media and retail sectors. Meanwhile, India needs around US$1 trillion to overhaul its infrastructure sector such as ports, airports and highways to boost growth.

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In news from stocks in the auto sector. Tata Motors share price ended the day on a positive note today. The stock was in focus as the company launched BS-IV compliant trucks in Tamil Nadu.

The company announced the launch of 20 new trucks BS-IV ready trucks.

One must note that Tata Motors had some unsold BS III commercial vehicle inventories as on 20 March 2017, which it had to liquidate before 1 April 2017 following the Supreme Court directive on 28 March 2017.

Inventory Pile of Unsold BS III Vehicles

However, the company already had planned to export the inventory outside India, where the ban does not apply. Tata Motors expects to ship at least 15% more trucks and buses this financial year as it hopes to export at least half of the banned BS-III inventory.

Moving on to news from software sector. TCS share price finished the trading day on an encouraging note after the company entered strategic partnership with Swissport, the world's largest provider of ground and cargo handling services in the aviation industry, for a major IT infrastructure and technology transformation initiative.

The partnership with TCS will see Swissport invest in an extensive improvement and enhancement of its technology infrastructure capabilities to ensure its core systems can support these objectives.

Meanwhile, as per an article in The Livemint, TCS, Infosys and Wipro are struggling to generate revenue from new businesses such as data analytics even as demand for old services weakens. As a result, companies are grappling with falling revenue per employee and operating margins.

Declining revenue per employee and profitability are key reasons behind Indian software companies planning to cut their existing workforce as employee costs account for over half of their total operating expenses.

Over the past decade, faster computing power and higher internet usage across the world has made Fortune 1000 companies look at newer technologies like data analytics to run their business better. Offering solutions by using data-crunching technologies command a high price even as automation tools are fast changing the way outsourcing companies traditionally did business of either managing computers or offering customer support to clients and client-run businesses.

Software stocks finished the day marginally higher, up by 0.3%.

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Nov 23, 2017 (Close)