The Sensex today is marginally down by around 11 points (0.05%), while the NSE-Nifty is down by around 3 points (0.05%). However, mid and small cap stocks are trading in the green with the BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices up by around 0.2% each. The rupee is currently trading at Rs 61.91 to the US dollar.
Oil & gas stocks have opened the day on a firm note with Essar Oil and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) leading the gains. As per a leading financial daily, India's state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc have hiked their stake by purchasing the remaining 35% of a Brazilian offshore oil block from their partner, Brazil's state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras). While ONGC's stake in the Parque das Conchas project, also known as BC-10, has increased from 15% to 27%, Shell's stake has increased from 50% to 73%. It must be noted that Petrobras had originally agreed to sell its 35% stake to China's Sinochem for US$ 1.56 bn. However, Shell and ONGC exercised their right of first refusal. ONGC agreed to pay US$ 529 m for the 12% stake in October.
Information Technology stocks have opened the day on a mixed note with Moser-Baer India and HCL Infosystems leading the gains. However, Infosys and Tech Mahindra are facing selling pressure. As per IT industry body Nasscom, while North America will continue to account for a major chunk of India's IT exports, increasing demand for outsourcing services from Europe is likely to drive the IT sector in 2014. It must be noted that North America accounts for over 60% of revenues of Indian IT exporters. On the other hand, the European region contributes about 20% of revenues. But within the European region, the UK contributes a lion's share. The European market is now growing faster than the US market. It is now more open to outsourcing. As such, Indian companies are ramping up presence in Europe and have also made some acquisitions in the region.