After a volatile trading session today, indices managed to climb into the green in the last hour of closing, ending the day in the positive. While BSE Sensex closed higher by around 66 points (up 0.3%), Nifty was up around 10 points (0.17%). Small caps lost investor favour with the BSE-Smallcap Index down over 1%. Midcaps managed to fare better, as the BSE-Midcap Index was down only 0.3%.
The auto sector was a strong performer today and Hero Honda emerged as the surprise top gainer among the Sensex heavyweights. This was a sharp move after having underperformed the broader index in the recent rally over the past few months.
Most Asian markets closed strongly in the positive today whereas Europe is also trading in the positive currently. The rupee was placed at Rs 45.27 to the dollar at the time of writing.
The recent scam surrounding the grant of 2G spectrum has pulled down a number of entities in the telecom sector. Latest to be indicted is Reliance Communications (RCOM). As per its report, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has raised doubts on the grant of licenses to RCOM. As per CAG the 85 licenses granted to the company were illegal. It has also raised the question of RCOM's ownership interest in Swan Telecom. RCOM maintains that it had sold its stake in Swan before the spectrum was granted to the latter. However, the CAG's report states that the stake sale may have happened after the LOI (letter of intent) was given to Swan. RCOM has released a media statement denying these charges. The stock was down nearly 5% today. Its peer Bharti Airtel on the other hand closed in the green (up over 4%). Bharti recently crossed 200 m subscribers across geographies, and also unveiled a new logo to the public to reflect its new global identity.
ONGC announced that it plans to invest Rs 5 bn on research and development (R&D) in areas of non-conventional energy sources. India has only around 0.5% of the world's hydrocarbon reserves. In order to meet high growth rates and demand for fuel, India needs to tap alternative and renewable energy sources. As part of its efforts to try and achieve energy security for the nation, the company has ventured into shale gas reserves exploration. It has also engaged in tapping solar, wind, thermal energy, LED etc. ONGC's Chairman Mr R S Sharma also stated that some of the other ways for India to achieve strong sustainable growth is infrastructure development and political stability.