The Indian stock market lost ground during the previous two hours of trade due to selling pressure in the heavyweights and went deeper in the red. Stocks from the oil & gas, healthcare, metal and banking space are leading the pack of losers, while those from the FMCG and power are trading firm.
The BSE-Sensex is trading down by 89 points, while NSE-Nifty is trading 30 points below the dotted line. The BSE Midcap index is flat, while BSE Small cap indices are up 0.2%. The rupee is trading at 44.64 to the US dollar.
Software stocks are trading mixed with Mphasis and Moser Baer (India) Ltd leading the pack of gainers. However, Patni Computers, CMC Ltd and Tech Mahindra are trading weak. As per a leading financial daily, Infosys has said its Australia and New Zealand unit has acquired the software solutions business of New Zealand's Gen-i for an undisclosed sum. Gen-i is the corporate information communication technology (ICT) arm of Telecom New Zealand. The company will take over 110 employees and contractors from Gen-i, which would raise its New Zealand staff strength to up to 150 people. It also plans to add 15-30 new hires immediately. As per the company, the partnership has significant potential to further grow New Zealand-based technology job. Earlier, the management had stated that the company was on the hunt for acquisitions in Europe and Japan in areas including healthcare and public services. However, stock of the company is trading in the red.
Energy stocks are trading mixed as well with Gujarat Gas, Indraprastha Gas and Chennai Petroleum Corporation leading the pack of gainers. However, ONGC and MRPL are trading weak. As per a leading financial daily, the Supreme Court will start its final hearing on ONGC's US$125m contract in first week of July. Earlier, ONGC had floated US$125 m tender for laying a 116.5 km sub-sea pipeline off the western coast of India, which was awarded to Swiber Offshore Company. However, the decision was challenged by other bidders, including Punj Lloyd, in the high court. They have charged ONGC for ignoring some benefits offered by them on price preference while awarding the tender. The high court had set aside this contract on April 6 on grounds that ONGC acted arbitrarily in awarding the contract. In response, Swiber had had moved to Supreme Court. The court has already clarified that while Swiber Offshore Construction could continue its work on the project that it started from March, it would not claim any equity on the work done by it after the court verdict.
In a separate development, ONGC has achieved record volumes of gas production well past its life expectancy from the Bassein field (situated off the Mumbai coast) that accounts for 43% of the company's total gas production. The production has surpassed initial conservative estimates. As per company's executives, 45 bcm (billion cubic metres) of reserves still remain to be tapped. The field has in-place reserves of 11 tcf (trillion cubic feet) and is ranked among the super giant fields of the world.