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Sensex Finishes in Red for Seventh Straight Session; IDFC Plunges 2.5%
Wed, 27 Sep Closing | Karan Janani, TM Team

Indian share markets witnessed further selling pressure in the afternoon session and finished in red for a seventh straight session. This marks the longest losing streak for the indexes after a seven-day fall that ended on 22 December 2016. Foreign investors have net sold US$777 million worth of Indian shares so far, this month.

At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex closed lower by 440 points and the NSE Nifty finished down by 136 points. The S&P BSE Mid Cap finished down by 2% while S&P BSE Small Cap finished down by 2.1%. Losses were largely seen in pharma stocks, realty stocks and capital goods stocks.

Asian stock markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Hang Seng gained 0.47% and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.05%. The Nikkei 225 lost 0.31%. European markets are higher today with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX is up 0.49% while France's CAC 40 is up 0.23% and London's FTSE 100 is up 0.22%.

Indian rupee weakened further for the fifth consecutive session to hit fresh six-month low against the US dollar after local equity markets declined for seventh consecutive sessions. Rupee was trading at Rs 65.69 against the US$ in the afternoon session.

Oil prices were trading higher at US$ 51.77 at the time of writing.

Shriram Transport Finance share price surged 3.8% in today's trade while IDFC share price plunged 2.5% after the two companies decided to abandon the merger plan worked out in July this year as shareholder pressure and dilution fears force them to examine a new, less complicated structure.

As per The Economic Times, fears of a sharp dilution in IDFC and IDFC Bank and protests by shareholders of Shriram Transport Finance over the prospect of suffering 'holding company discount' have prevented the parties from continuing with the previous arrangement.

Moving on to news from pharma sector. Divi's Laboratories share price fell 12% after the company said it received six observations for its unit 2 in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) inspected the plant during September 11-19, and issued six observations including failure in testing individual batches and inadequate cleaning instructions.

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As per USFDA, observations are made in Form 483 when investigators feel that conditions or practices in the facility are such that products may become adulterated or render injuries to health.

In news from economy, falling one place in the World Economic Forum's (WEF) latest Global Competitiveness Index, India has been ranked at 40th spot out of 137 countries surveyed, while Switzerland, the US and Singapore were ranked as the top three countries.

Though, India has slipped from the 39th position to 40th, but WEF remained positive about India, saying that the country stabilises this year after its big leap forward of the previous two years. It also noted improvement across key competitiveness pillars like infrastructure, higher education & training and technological readiness.

The WEF's report found improvement in ICT (information and communications technologies) indicators, particularly Internet bandwidth per user, mobile phone and broadband subscriptions, and Internet access in schools.

The report added that the quality of institutions has increased further, especially in terms of efficiency of public spending, while noting concerns of private sector for doing business in India on the back of most problematic factor- corruption. Among the BRICS, India came 3rd, below China and Russia.

In news from software sector, TCS share price finished the trading day on an encouraging note (up 0.6%) after the company's subsidiary Diligenta, a leading Life and Pensions BPS provider in the UK, entered a 15-year partnership with Scottish Widows, Lloyds Banking Group's Life and Pensions business.

Under the terms of this agreement, Diligenta will support Scottish Widows to provide end-to-end policy administration services for its 4 million heritage customers. Diligenta will provide Scottish Widows these services based on TCS BaNCS, its digitally-enabled, end-to-end policy administration platform, to manage its assets in life, pensions and investment products.

In another development, Wipro has entered partnership with CloudGenix Inc., a leading provider of Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) products, to offer open and managed SD-WAN services. Termed as WANFreedom.

The service will allow enterprise customers to rapidly deploy cloud, SaaS and data center applications, Internet broadband and LTE networks, thereby enabling a rich user experience and IT infrastructure cost optimization.

The company also won a US$100 million, five-year integrated outsourcing contract from German reinsurer Munich Re that involves infrastructure management services and application development.

The average annual value of deals in the banking, financial services & insurance (BFSI) sector has dropped from US$23.5 million a decade ago to US$17.3 million in 2016, according to data analysed by research firm ISG. By that yardstick, a US$100 million deal across five years is well above the average.

Wipro share price finished the day down by 0.8% on the BSE.

The IT sector was much favored amongst investors since the turn of the decade. IT giants like TCS, Infosys were considered a safe bet at any price. With Infosys' CEO's resignation yesterday, it caps off a miserable 3 years run for IT stocks.

Underperformance of Top IT Stocks

The top 4 IT companies have underperformed the benchmark. With the sector heavily dependent on US customers, Trump's protectionist policy announcements have further dampened the mood in this sector.

Also, with automation on the horizon, Indian IT companies' low-cost labor outsourcing is turning into a thing of the past. IT companies need to re-invent itself.

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Mar 16, 2018 (Close)