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Lackluster End to the Week
Thu, 24 Dec Closing

Indian equity markets began the day's proceedings on a flat note and remained range bound throughout the trading session today. While the BSE Sensex today closed lower by 12 points, the NSE-Nifty closed lower by 5 points. Midcaps and Small caps fared well and closed above the dotted line. The S&P BSE Mid Cap index and the S&P BSE Small Cap index closed the day higher by 0.3% and 0.5% respectively. Gains were largely seen in power and metal stocks, while stocks from consumer durables and banking space witnessed selling activity.

Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Hang Seng gained 0.44%, while the Shanghai Composite led the Nikkei 225 lower. They fell 0.65% and 0.51% respectively. European markets are higher today as French and British shares show gains. The CAC 40 is up 0.37%, while the FTSE 100 is up 0.11%.

According to a leading financial daily, State-owned Oil and Natural Corporation (ONGC) will invest Rs 35 billion in extracting gas lying below coal seams (CBM) in three coal-bed methane blocks in eastern India. ONGC will drill over 350 wells in three blocks in Jharia, Bokaro and North Karanpur in Jharkhand. Reportedly, a fourth block in Ranigajan North in West Bengal may be relinquished as it may fall in way of a planned air-strip. The company board has approved an investment of Rs 12 billion in the Bokaro block to produce a peak gas of 0.7 mmscmd.

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd recently announced results for the quarter ended September 2015. The topline for the quarter grew by 1.0% year on year (YoY), while bottomline declined by 11.1% YoY, on a standalone basis. Here is our detailed analysis of the results (Subscription Required).

At the beginning November 2014, the price of Indian basket of crude oil was at around US$81 per barrel. Since then price of oil has fallen to US$34 per barrel a fall of around 58%.

Given the plunge in oil prices during the year, companies from the downstream segment (retail) have seen their stock prices rise, while those of the upstream segment (exploration and refining) have been battered. 2015 has been a mixed year for the stocks from the oil & gas sector. The script of ONGC finished the trading day on negative note (down 0.6%) on the BSE.

According to a leading financial daily, Tech Mahindra is set to roll out a new joint venture (JV) company to handle its payments banking operations. The software major will form a joint venture with group company Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services (MMFSL), also known as Mahindra Finance, and have strategic partnership with a few private entities including banks. Tech Mahindra's move to venture into the payments banking space is part of its strategy to increase revenue from small financial services practice. A payments bank will gather deposits and promote non-cash payments, but won't lend.

Also in other news, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), along with Tech Mahindra, also recently announced its intention to acquire Italian car designer Pininfarina SpA (Subscription Required). Accordingly, both M&M and Tech Mahindra, through a special purpose vehicle (SPV), will buy a 76.06% stake in the Italian car designer for around 25.3 million euros.

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

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Feb 16, 2018 (Close)