The News International Team
11:55 am Exclusive: Close on the heels of quarterly results of oil companies and a possible 5 percent divestment in ONGC , the Oil Ministry has proposed a new subsidy sharing proposal with the Finance Minister. Sources say as recently as last week, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has proposed upstream companies ONGC and Oil India should not make any contributions towards subsidy burden if crude prices are at or below USD 60 per barrel. They will, however, take upon 85 percent of the burden if crude ranged between USD 60 and 100 and 90 percent if oil stays above USD 100. Sources told CNBC-TV18 that the Oil Ministry has also sent North Block supplementary demand for grants for FY15 based on the new proposal.
11:45 am Poll: Bharti Airtel , the largest telecom operator (by subscriber base) in India, will announce its third quarter earnings on Wednesday. Profit after tax is expected to decline 8.5 percent sequentially to Rs 1,266 crore during the quarter, according to the average of estimates of analysts polled by CNBC-TV18. Revenue is seen rising 2.6 percent to Rs 23,440 crore during October-December quarter compared to Rs 22,845.2 crore in previous quarter. Operating profit (EBITDA) may increase 2.7 percent quarter-on-quarter to Rs 7,910 crore and marign may remain unchanged at 33.7 percent during the same period.
11:30 am Market outlook: There have been too many earnings disappointments for the December quarter, leading some investors to question if the India story has been hyped, says Manishi Raychaudhuri, MD and Asian Equity Strategist at BNP Securities. In an interview to CNBC-TV18, he says the Indian economy had already bottomed out four quarters ago and that growth prospects look much better compared to other economies. Falling commodity prices is one of the key cushions for the Indian economy, says Raychaudhuri. And while there have been foreign fund outflows from India of late, they are not very large, he says.
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The market is in a tight range with broader markets underperforming. Sentiment is dampened by Brent crude that has spiked 6 percent to above USD 57 per barrel and FIIs are selling for third consecutive session.
The Sensex is down 19.78 points at 28980.36 and the Nifty slips 7.85 points at 8748.70. About 1119 shares have advanced, 1126 shares declined, and 237 shares are unchanged.
Sesa Sterlite, ONGC, Tata Steel, Sun Pharma and Coal India are top gainers in the Sensex. Among the losers are Axis Bank, TCS, SBI and HUL.
Oil prices fell as renewed concerns over global demand and high stock levels halted a rally that pushed up prices by about 19 percent over the past four sessions.
The recent rebound was driven by hopes that prices may have hit a bottom after a seven-month rout slashed oil futures by nearly 60 percent and prompted major energy firms to cut spending on new production. But weak data from key consumer China has rekindled demand concerns, dragging on oil prices.
Globally, Asian markets are higher reacting to the strong us close and spike up in crude prices.