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Selling activity intensified as the day progressed as Indian markets finished well below the dotted line. Sentiments also remained weak after data showed that foreign institutional investors sold shares worth Rs 4.93 billion on Wednesday. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex closed lower by 215 points, the NSE Nifty finished lower by 68 points. The S&P BSE Midcap and the S&P BSE Small Cap finished down by 0.5% and 0.4% respectively. Losses were largely seen in consumer durables and capital goods stocks.
Most Asian markets rose today, with Japanese markets snapping a seven-day losing streak. The Hang Seng gained 0.29% and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.22%. The Shanghai Composite, however, lost 1.38%. European markets are trading lower today with shares in Germany off the most. The DAX is down 0.24%, while France's CAC 40 is off 0.18% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 0.05%.
The rupee was trading at 66.47 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 37.61 at the time of writing.
According to a leading financial daily, ITC Limited and Starwood Hotels & Resorts have signed an agreement to extend their existing partnership for 11 ITC Luxury Collection hotels and 1 hotel under the Sheraton brand. Further strengthening their partnership, the two companies also announced three upcoming ITC hotels under The Luxury Collection brand in India. This will take the inventory up to 15 hotels over the next four years.
Starwood is experiencing strong growth momentum in the country with signing of new hotels in the past 12 months representing nearly 30% of current operating trail in India (Subscription Required).
In another development, according to an article in The Economic Times, ITC will have to increase focus on tobacco free nicotine products to reduce the regulatory risk on its main business as the all tobacco products, including cigarettes, bidis and non-smoking tobacco were required to contain pictorial health warnings covering 85% of the space on both sides of the packet. ITC earns over 80% of its profits from the tobacco products. The company shut its manufacturing plant in the wake of government's new rule. ITC has already introduced e-cigarette 'Eon', nicotine chewing gum KwikNic in the market.
Automobile stocks languished in the red today with Eicher Motors and Maruti Suzuki bearing majority of the brunt. According to a leading financial daily, Bajaj Auto expects to export 10,000 units of its quadricycle car 'Qute' in the ongoing financial year. Reportedly, the company expects a strong positive reception in markets and with an increase in production in the Waluj plant, the company plans to export 500 Qute in April 2016 alone.
The car still awaits clearance for sale in india. The company had introduced Qute in October and exported a total of 334 units to 19 markets including Turkey, Russia, Indonesia and Peru in 2015-16. Meanwhile, the company released a video showing a glimpse of its new range of V bikes made from the 'invincible metal of the INS Vikrant' on the eve of India's 67th Republic Day. In our recent edition of The 5 Minute WrapUp Premium, we have discussed how patriotism will help Bajaj Auto sell motorcycles (Subscription Required).
In another news, Tata Motors is reducing the size of its diesel engines to skirt a temporary ban on the sale of large diesel-powered cars in New Delhi as the government seeks to reduce toxic (Subscription Required) smog in the capital city. The New Delhi ban on the sale of cars with diesel engine capacity higher than 2 litres was imposed in December and has hurt carmakers. The re-engineered engines are only for Tata vehicles and not those made by its luxury carmaker Jaguar Land Rover. Bajaj Auto and Tata Motors finished the day down by 0.5% and 1% respectively.
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