The market is waiting for more positive or negative news to decide which way to move
Resuming its upmove after a day's pause, the Indian market opened with modest gains as the political situation at the Centre showed signs of easing, after the DMK decided to put on hold the resignation of its six ministers in the UPA government.
Capital goods, auto and healthcare stocks supported early gains, although profit booking at higher levels resulted in the market giving up some gains. Trading was range-bound, with no big trigger to guide the indices. However, a fresh bout of buying in the last hour lifted the indices to the day's highs, and the indices closed near those levels.
The market was up today, making up more than half the losses suffered yesterday. The Sensex and Nifty opened with a positive gap at 18,277 and 5,466, respectively, which were the lows of the day. After the initial gains, the market was lack-lustre throughout the day. Towards the end of the day, the benchmarks hit intra-day highs of 18,467 and 5,531, respectively. The Sensex closed 217 points up at 18,440, while the Nifty ended 58 points up at 5,521. The advance-decline ratio on the National Stock Exchange was 1,085:589.
The market breadth on the key indices was tilted in favour of the advancing stocks. The Sensex closed with 25 gainers, four losers and one stock remained unchanged. The Nifty had 39 advancing stocks, 10 declining stocks and one stock was flat. Among the broader indices, the BSE Mid-cap index gained 0.97% and the BSE Small-cap index rose 0.76%.
The BSE TECk index (up 1.98%) was the top sectoral gainer, followed by BSE IT (up 1.90%), BSE Metal (up 1.49%), BSE Bankex (up 1.48%) and BSE Realty (up 1.35%). There were no losers in the sectoral space today.
Bharti Airtel (up 3.16%) was the top Sensex gainer. Other major gainers were Tata Motors (up 2.91%), ONGC (up 2.90%), Infosys Technologies (up 2.53%) and Jaiprakash Associates (up 2.37%). The main laggards on the index were Hero Honda (down 0.77%), Maruti Suzuki (down 0.65%) and ITC (down 0.35%).
India aims to add about 15,000MW of generation capacity in the current financial year, taking the total capacity to over 1.75 lakh MW by the end of this month. However, the capacity addition is less by about 5,000MW against the targeted generation capacity of 20,359MW in 2010-11, missing the target of the 11th Five Year Plan for the fourth consecutive year, power minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has admitted.
Markets in Asia settled with gains on speculation that the crisis in the Middle East might ease, following media reports that Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi has offered to relinquish power. The reports also gave an indication of softening crude prices.
This apart, M&A news lifted the Japanese market. Hitachi advanced on the sale of its hard disk drive operations to US-based Western Digital for around $4.3 billion, while Terumo Corp rose on its purchase of US medical device firm CaridianBCT for $2.6 billion.
The Shanghai Composite gained 0.15%, the Hang Seng jumped 1.71%, Jakarta Composite rose 0.52%, the KLSE Composite added 0.13%, the Nikkei 225 advanced 0.19%, the Straits Times surged 1.22%, the Seoul Composite rose 0.81% and the Taiwan Weighted settled 0.39% higher at close of trade.
Oil fell for the first time in three days on speculation that the conflict in Libya may subside, which eased concerns over supply disruption. Crude for April delivery fell $2.11 to $103.33 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and was at $104.02 in post-noon trade in Singapore. Yesterday, the contract settled at $105.44, the highest since 26 September 2008. Prices are up 27% from a year ago.
Brent crude for April settlement tumbled as much as $2.25, or 2%, to $112.79 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Back home, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of stocks worth Rs92.24 crore on Monday, while domestic institutional investors were net buyers of equities worth Rs45.57 crore.
Tata Communications (1.04%) today announced the launch of cloud offering, InstaCompute, an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) model, in Singapore. This service also covers neighbouring countries, such as Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
According to the company, InstaCompute will bring scalable cloud-computing services to the region's large and medium enterprises, gaming industry, as well as global businesses which have an Asia-Pacific audience.
HCL Technologies (up 2.29%), a leading global IT services provider, and Orion Edutech, Asia's leading BPO training institute have jointly announced the launch of a unique and innovative initiative to address the emergent issue of talent in the BPO industry. This programme, Orion Diploma in BPO Management, bolsters HCL's strategy to provide customers with the next generation business services delivered by a world-class pool of talent.
Bharti Airtel (3.16%), India's largest telecom services provider, today launched its third generation 3G services in Mumbai. The company already launched 3G services in Bengaluru, Chennai, Coimbatore, Mysore, Manipal, Udupi, Jaipur and Delhi NCR. The company is committed to launch its 3G services in all 13 circles where it has obtained licences by this month-end.
Medical activists to observe 12th March as ‘Misery Day’ to protest against proposed service tax, demand rollback
The Union Budget proposal to levy 5% service tax on healthcare services has been severely criticised by the medical community, which has described it as a "misery tax". The community says the proposal to tax healthcare adds to the concerns of the common man, and it has demanded that it be scrapped.
Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, chairman of Narayana Hrudayalaya, has in an open letter addressed to the aam aadmi, said, "This is not a 'service tax', it is a 'misery tax' since the government wants to make money out of your misery. Please do not think that only rich people will be taxed since the proposal says only air-conditioned hospitals need to pay the tax. No surgery, simple or complex, can be performed without an air-conditioned operation theatre. Legally, a blood bank cannot get a licence without air-conditioning. CT, MRI and catheterization labs do not function without air-conditioning. Simply put, hospitals cannot function without air-conditioning!"
"British Raj taxed salt and our government taxes our miseries", Dr Shetty said.
The medical fraternity has called on people to observe 12th March as "Misery Day", to protest against the proposed service tax and demand that it be rolled back.
Presenting the Union Budget for 2011-12 last week, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee proposed a 5% service tax on medical services, including diagnostics, provided at centrally air-conditioned clinical establishments, having more than 25 beds for in-patient treatment. The service tax is to be levied also on services provided by consultant doctors operating from such hospitals.
Nagesh Kini, chartered accountant and Mumbai-based social activist, said, "Ultimately, it is the common man who will have to pay this. I do understand that air-conditioning is required for MRI, blood bank and such other facilities, but the taxes will only burden the common man. I agree totally with Dr Shetty's statement. "
Dr Shetty said in his open letter that taxes would only increase the already high cost of healthcare in India, putting quality treatment out of the reach of the common people. Therefore, "service tax, both old and new, must be withdrawn for all variety of services including diagnostic services, payment by insurance companies, etc. Also all varieties of taxes like central sales tax, customs duty, VAT on health sector to be withdrawn for at least ten years, till all citizens have access to affordable healthcare."
Dr Gustad Daver, director professional services, P D Hinduja National Hospital and Medical Research Centre, told Moneylife, "The more the taxation, the more the cost of treatment. This directly affects common people. The cost of high-end treatment is already unaffordable and adding to it is the service tax, which will increase the burden on people. We are working to bring the cost of treatment down and such taxes will make it impossible for us. I sincerely hope that the government rolls back the service tax."
On Monday, a Press Trust of India report quoted S Dutt Majumder, chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), as saying that "as far as the CBEC is concerned, we think health services will also have to be brought under the (tax net) and it should not affect the common man. We are talking about central air-conditioning, not air-conditioning. And even private hospitals (with) central air- conditioning and more than 25 beds will be covered."
Mr Kini responded to Mr Majumder's statement saying, "This is totally incorrect. No one but the common man will suffer because of this service tax."
Cisco and Mahindra will explore opportunities to collaborate on comprehensive differentiated offerings in the sports and entertainment market to provide a range of industry-specific offerings
Mumbai: The Anand Mahindra-led Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) on Tuesday said it has inked a strategic alliance with global networking company Cisco to provide a host of services, including cloud computing, entertainment, smart cities, virtual dealerships and sports, reports PTI.
The joint venture intends to collaborate on a global platform and has a target market of $5 billion in five years.
"I am absolutely delighted that the first project under this initiative is intended to be the Mahindra Innovation Park, which will create new benchmarks through its smart solutions," M&M vice-chairman Mr Anand Mahindra told reporters here.
"This is a partnership not just of one contract but involving many contracts between Mahindra and Cisco, not just in India but across the world," he said.
"Initially, we have invested Rs10 crore in the global partnership and will continue to invest in the coming days," Mr Mahindra said. With this JV, M&M and Cisco will focus on the Internet.
Cisco's Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) and Mahindra have initiated the collaboration on a pioneering virtual sales experience as a complementary channel to Mahindra dealerships.
The innovative sales experience will aim to expand M&M's customer touch-points, enhance brand visibility and provide customers with a superior experience.
Cisco and Mahindra will explore opportunities to collaborate on comprehensive differentiated offerings in the sports and entertainment market to provide a range of industry-specific offerings.
These include the Cisco connected stadium platform and the StadiumVision solution using the network as a platform, with additive elements for access control, wireless, smart-card ticketing and loyalty programmes, points of sale and hospitality.