Opening bell 17 June

Opening bell 17 June

Mumbai: There’s some optimism is in the air. At least where global markets are concerned. After a rout on Wednesday, stock markets in the US rebounded as better than estimated housing statistics and jobless claims report lifted investor sentiment. Here’s a list of other things to watch out for before trading starts:

Jobless claims in the US declined by 16,000 to 414,000 in the week ended 11 June. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected 420,000 filings. The lower-than-expected jobless claims tempered concerns about the slowdown in the economy, which helped the stock markets gain. The S&P 500 at 1,267 closed up 0.18%.

The positive economic data also lifted spirits of crude oil and Asian stock markets. Stock markets in Japan and South Korea rose on expectations that a recovering US economy will continue to provide demand for Asian exports.

Brent crude strengthened on speculation that an improving employment market in the US will increase demand for petroleum products. Oil rates rose to $114.27 a barrel, up $0.25.

Back home, Tata Steel has agreed to sell its 26% stake in Australia’s Riversdale to Rio Tinto for $1.1 billion. The company will sell shares in an open offer. However, it will keep its 35% stake in a Riversdale unit that owns coal assets in Mozambique.

The strike at Maruti Suzuki has finally ended. The protesting workers and the management agreed to end the strike after a negotiation ended successfully on late Thursday night. The company has agreed to take back eleven sacked workers.

With turbines coming ahead of the schedule, Reliance Power is looking to commission its 2,400 mw, gas-based power project at Samalkot in Andhra Pradesh faster. The project is being built with an outlay of 10,000 crore.

NTPC, on the other hand, secured firm deadlines for supply of equipment for Barh and Sipat thermal power projects. Both the projects have been delayed by around three years, hampering the plans of NTPC to expand capacity by 3,960 megawatts. Read more...

The coal ministry has cancelled allocation of five blocks to NTPC. The ministry’s justification was that NTPC was not serious about developing these blocks.

NMDC has finalised a 3,000-crore pipeline project for evacuating ore from its Bailadila mines in Chhattisgarh to Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.

Oil India is getting serious about getting into the shale gas business. The company has hired Schlumberger Asia to carry out a feasibility study for its shale gas reserves in Assam and Rajasthan. According to recent reports, the company is also looking to acquire shale gas assets overseas.

ONGC may have to shell out 12,300 crore in fuel subsidies in the April-June quarter. With the government refusing to raise fuel prices, retailers IOC, BPCL and HPCL are estimated to see about 45,000 crore of revenue loss.

Finally, Afghanistan’s booming car sales industry has been saddled with a weird problem. People are shunning cars with number 39. It has become a mark of shame in deeply conservative Afghanistan. Drivers of cars with number plates containing 39 are being mocked and taunted across Kabul. Read more...