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Indian stock markets trade firm
Mon, 24 Oct 01:30 pm

The Indian stock market continued to trade firm on account of buying interest in heavyweights during the last two hours of trade. Except for capital goods, all sectoral indices are trading in the green. Stocks from the auto, banking, realty, software and oil & gas are leading the pack of gainers.

The BSE-Sensex is trading up by 278 points while NSE-Nifty is trading 84 points above yesterday's closing. The BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices are trading up by 0.4% and 0.3% respectively. The rupee is trading at 49.92 to the US dollar.

Most of the software stocks have been trading in the green with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Hindustan Computers Limited (HCL Technologies), Infosys and Wipro leading the pack of gainers. However, Tech Mahindra is trading weak. As per a leading financial daily, according to the latest report published by Standard and Poor's (S&P), the top Indian Information Technology (IT) companies would be able to maintain their investment-grade ratings even if global demand environment weakens. In the report, S&P has talked about top three Indian software companies, TCS, Infosys and Wipro. According to the report, cost-competitiveness, strong margins and proven global delivery models of these companies would help them to endure the uncertain demand environment. The report also states that these companies would able to register a faster growth rate than the global industry.

In the long run, these companies would face bigger challenges. The reason for this is other global companies are also increasing their employee base in India. Therefore, cost- advantage would diminish over the years. Increasing protectionism around the world would also hinder the growth prospects of these companies. However, S&P expects that the largest Indian software companies would be able to adapt to the changing business environment.

Energy stocks have been trading mixed with Oil and Natural Gas Ltd (ONGC), Essar Oil and Reliance Industries leading the pack of gainers. However, MRPL and Castrol India are trading weak. As per a leading financial daily, the oil ministry has asked its technical arm, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbon (DGH), to appoint a global consultant to certify the optimum field development plan of Reliance Industries (RIL). This step was taken in the light of many doubts raised by the investing agencies in many decisions taken recently. RIL has given a US$ 1.52 billion proposal to produce about 10 million standard cubic metres per day of gas from four satellite discoveries in its D6 block. The company is also asking to raise the gas prices from its current level of US$ 4.2 per unit to make this project economically viable.

This new authentication process by the global consultant would further delay the project. This project is waiting for the government approval for almost two years.

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