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Nifty, Sensex may rally a bit – Wednesday closing report
We had mentioned in Tuesday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex would continue to be in a mild downtrend. The major indices of the Indian stock markets were range-bound on Wednesday and closed with small gains. The trends of the major indices in the course of Wednesday’s trading are given in the table below:
 
 
Value buying, along with short covering and a firm rupee, lifted the Indian equity markets during the mid-afternoon trade session on Wednesday. Buying was witnessed in automobile, banking and capital goods stocks. The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bulls -- with 1,644 advances and 1,003 declines. On the NSE, there were 932 advances, 482 declines and 70 unchanged. 
Short covering and value buying after last couple of day's falls has pulled the equity markets up. Banking sector, especially the public sector banks, are leading the recovery. Positive European markets and a firm rupee have also supported the upward movement. The CNX Nifty traded with firm sentiments due to short covering. IT (information technology) stocks faced profit booking at higher levels. Auto, oil-gas and textile stocks also traded firm. Aviation and FMCG stocks traded with mixed sentiments due to profit booking. Power and cement stocks also traded firm on buying support.
 
Software major Infosys Ltd on Wednesday unveiled a mobile first and modular platform to drive e-commerce programmes across retail channels. The platform has been developed by Skava, a Silicon Valley-based e-commerce start-up that the IT major acquired in June 2015 for $120 million, to enable businesses leverage cloud-based micro-services and white label applications to launch new offerings and improve conversion rates of digital channels. "The platform can integrate into present technologies, while providing a future-ready architecture for next-generation shopping experiences leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, natural language processing and virtual reality (VR)," the IT major said. Infosys shares closed at Rs1,038.60, down 0.18% on the BSE.
 
Oil prices fell on Tuesday as Iran said it was not willing to freeze its oil output at current levels, denting market expectation for an output-freeze deal among Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members. Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Tuesday that the country wants to raise its crude production to four million barrels a day from 3.6 million at current level. It's "not on our agenda" to reach agreement at the OPEC talks in Algiers, he said. Instability in oil prices could start bearish trends in the Indian stock markets.
 
Bharti Airtel has made incoming calls free for international roaming and also launched various packs for its both prepaid and postpaid customers to facilitate travelling abroad, a company statement said here on Wednesday. "With the new international roaming packs, customers will have the convenience of carrying their India mobile number wherever they go and stay connected 24x7 without having to worry about high call and data charges. The packs will be available to both postpaid and prepaid customers," the statement said. "Charges for calls to India and local in-country calls have been reduced to as low as Rs3/min across popular destinations," it added. Bharti Airtel shares closed at Rs322.45, up 2.69% on the BSE.
 
The telecom operators are grappling with a huge debt burden of Rs3.80 lakh crore, reinforcing a case for rationalisation of taxes and other levies, along with high spectrum charges, says a study. The telecom operators have an accumulated debt of around Rs3.8 lakh crore and an additional customs duty of 10% will lead to an increase in cumulative duty to 29.44%, according to the Assocham-KPMG study, released here on Wednesday. "Even though consumers are having the last laugh with competitive offers from the major players, the service providers need to penetrate further into the fast expanding data market and create a volume that will keep their cash flow running," said Assocham Secretary-General D S Rawat. Simplification and rationalisation of tax regime will provide the required financial stability to the Indian telecom industry, said the Assocham-KPMG joint study, adding that spectrum usage charges (SUC) in India are comparatively higher than other economies. The telecom sector is expected to contribute 8.2% or Rs14 lakh crore to the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020, the study said. The S & P BSE Telecom index closed at Rs1,197.99, up 2.33% on the BSE.
 
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
 
 
The closing values of the Asian indices are given in the table below:
 

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