The News International Team
11:30am Crude gains ground
Oil prices surged today following the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, with investors watching to see if the country will change its policy of maintaining high production in the face of plunging prices and a global supply glut.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for March delivery soared as much as 3.1 percent in New York after the Saudi royal court announced the death. In Asian trade, the contract was up USD 73 cents, or 1.58 percent, at USD 47.04 a barrel.
Brent crude for March jumped USD 1.09, or 2.25 percent, to USD 49.61.
The surge in prices comes after months of steep falls caused by weak global demand, an oversupply of the black gold and a refusal by the OPEC cartel, of which Saudi Arabia is a key member, to cut down on output.
11:00am Market Check
The market continued to defy gravity extending their gains for the seventh consecutive session. However, now that came off the day’s high. Gains fueled by the Bank nifty which traded above 20,000.
The 30-share BSE Sensex rose 200.43 points to 29206.45 and the 50-share NSE Nifty jumped 44.70 points to 8806.10. Nearly two shares declined for every share advancing on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
The CNX Midcap index traded above 13000, but now gave up early morning gains. The rupee rose to a 10-week high, up 20 paise to 61.49 a dollar.
Globally, Asian markets responded positively to the European Central Bank’s decision of unleashing 1 trillion euros stimulus package. Japan rose to near three-week highs with the Kospi at 4-week highs. The euro continued to hover near 11-year lows while the dollar continued its strength, trading at the best levels since September 2003.
From Nifty stocks, HDFC deserved mention as it put on another 2 percent gains, which rallied 11 percent at current reckoning on a week to date basis.
HDFC Bank, Larsen & Toubro, Tata Motors, Bharti Airtel and Mahindra & Mahindra gained 2-3 percent whereas GAIL lost 2 percent followed by Infosys, TCS, Reliance Industries, Axis Bank, BHEL, Hindalco, Coal India and Tata Steel with marginal loss.
Cairn India is in focus, reacting to its Q3 earnings, wherein profit dipped over 40 percent Q-o-Q, which was a larger than expected decline due to higher depreciation and tax rates. The stock, however, is cushioned by crude that saw a slight bounce back today.
Ipca Labs tanked 7 percent, reacting to the USFDA converting its form 483 or observations on the company’s Ratlam facility into an import alert. The impact, however, is limited as three drugs have excluded from the import alert and because Ipca had already voluntarily stopped supplies to the US from the plant.
Biocon declined 3 percent as revenue was up 9 percent with EBITDA margins falling to 15 percent from 24 percent Y-o-Y mainly due to higher R&D costs. Separately the board approved the initiation of the listing process of Syngene.
Polaris fell 7 percent on weak set of earnings.