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Mid, smallcaps in favour today
Tue, 20 Oct Closing

After trading range bound for the majority of the day, Indian equity markets closed on a weak note as selling activity intensified in the final hour of trade. Stocks across the board ended on a mixed note with those from the IT, power and consumer durables' space leading the gains; while metal, realty and oil and gas stocks were not in favour. Vedanta turned out to be the biggest loser today. The BSE-Sensex slipped and closed down by about 58 points while the NSE-Nifty closed down by 14 points. On the other hand, the S&P BSE Midcap and the S&P BSE Smallcap indices closed on a firm note and were up by 0.5% and 0.2% respectively.

Asian markets ended mixed. The Shanghai Composite gained 1.14% and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.42%. The Hang Seng lost 0.37%. European markets opened weak with France leading the downfall. The rupee was trading weak at 64.89 against the US$ in the afternoon session.

According to a leading financial daily, HCL Technologies (HCL) has entered into a Letter of Intent with the Volvo Group for undertaking an outsourcing engagement for its IT infrastructure and operations services. Reportedly, the total contract period is for a length of five years. In addition, HCL would be acquiring from the Volvo Group, its external IT business relating to provision of IT infrastructure, mainframe services and application operation services for an all cash consideration of Swedish Krona (SEK) 1.1 bn (US$138 million). Volvo Group derived revenue of SEK 1.6 bn (US$ 190 million) from external customers during last twelve months.

While all of the IT majors have outperformed the Indian benchmark in the first nine months of 2015, HCL Tech has outperformed its peers. The underperformer has been TCS whose stock has barely moved, though it has managed to do better than the Sensex.

Mining stocks languished in red today with Vedanta Ltd and NMDC Ltd bearing majority of the brunt. According to a leading economic daily, Vedanta Ltd is eying to achieve its target of 5.5 million tonnes (MT) iron ore exports by March next year as it prepares to bid for ore in government run auctions. The company's iron ore division is expecting to mine 5.5MT of fresh iron ore from its mines in Goa. Goa still has about 5 MT of already-mined iron ore to be sold in auctions. The low grade ore is not used by domestic steel makers, and most of it will be exported by March 2016.

Reportedly, Vedanta is in the process of shipping 88,000 tonnes of the steelmaking ingredient to China, with other customers there eager for cargoes. Vedanta bought the iron ore being shipped to China in state auctions in the past month and hopes to purchase more. The scrip of Vedanta closed the trading day down by 6.4% on the BSE.

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Jan 18, 2018 (Close)