Indian equity markets began the day's proceedings on a tentative note as the morning session saw them oscillate to either side of yesterday's close. However, post noon buying activity gained momentum and this was sustained till the close of the bell. While the BSE-Sensex today closed higher by 407 points, the NSE-Nifty closed higher by 106 points. The BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap also did well and notched gains of 1% each. Gains were largely seen in metals and oil & gas stocks.
As regards global markets, most Asian indices closed in the red today while European indices have opened firm. The rupee was trading at Rs 64.94 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Engineering stocks closed mixed today. While Thermax and Blue Star closed in the red, Voltas and Larsen & Toubro (L&T) closed in the green. As per a leading business daily, L&T's arm L&T Construction has bagged orders worth Rs 15 bn. This includes a major project contract from Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation. This is for the supply, erection, testing and commissioning of a 400kV double circuit quad line of 274 km length in Tamil Nadu. The project is scheduled to be completed in 18 months. The other project that it has bagged is from Purvanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd, for carrying out rural electrification works in Jaunpur district of Uttar Pradesh. This is a positive for the company and will add on to its order book providing revenue visibility in the future. However, timely execution of the same will remain the key.
As per a leading business daily, Bajaj Corp Ltd (BCL) has announced the acquisition of Ozone Ayurvedics' Nomarks brands. This is for an undisclosed amount. The aim behind this move is to strengthen its presence in the personal care segment and gain entry into the skin care segment. Nomarks' product range includes face wash, facial cream, facial scrub and lotion. Bajaj Corp intends to leverage on its distribution network to push Nomarks' product range. Further, while some of the brands will be relaunched, Bajaj Corp will also focus on introducing new products under the Nomarks brand. Nomarks has more than 12% market share in the Rs 3.4 bn anti marks category. It must be noted that at present BCL is a leading producer of hair oil. It is also the market leader with a 55% share in the rapidly growing Light Hair Oil (LHO) segment through its Almond Drops Hair Oil (ADHO). Due to the strong leadership position and pricing power enjoyed in a premium category, the company's operating margin is more than two times that earned by closest rival, Marico. The stock closed higher by 3% today.