Opening bell 15 April

Opening bell 15 April

Mumbai: Happy Friday. Here’s a list of things to watch out for before trading starts.

Crude oil is inching up again. Traders sent oil prices higher after reports suggested that Saudi Arabia might cut oil production this month. Brent crude oil gained $0.11 to $122.47 a barrel.

Fears of inflation and a weak US dollar have sent prices of precious metals to historic highs. Gold climbed to a record $1,478.32 an ounce. Silver hit a 31-year high of $42.42 an ounce as the US dollar touched a 16-month low against six major currencies.

Overnight, US stocks closed flat after the Senate passed the spending bill. The S&P 500 registered a marginal gain of 0.01% to end at 1,314. Stocks in Japan fell after Toyota said it will delay its earnings forecast amid earthquake damage and disruption to its supply chain. The Nikkei is down 0.40%.

Back home, Infosys Technologies is set to announce its results on Friday. Analysts are expecting the company to guide for a revenue growth of 18-20% in dollar terms for 2011-12.

Bangalore is leading office space absorption in the country. According to reports, the city absorbed 2 million square feet of office space during January-March 2011. NCR in the same period has absorbed 1.6 million square feet of office space.

The cement industry has a bright outlook, according to Ernst & Young India. The consultancy expects the domestic industry to clock double digit growth rates from the next fiscal. According to the report, demand is expected to outstrip supply in next financial year.

The troubles at micro financial institutions (MFIs) are far from over. Close to a third of loans that banks have lent to MFIs are being restructured. Read more...NTPC is planning to expand its Kawas project to 1,300 MW. The company wants to place the order for equipment even as it pursues a legal battle with Reliance Industries for gas from D6 block.

Fortis Healthcare received an approval from its board to buy 86% stake in Super Religare Laboratories. Both the firms are controlled by brothers Malvinder & Shivinder Singh. With the acquisition, the entire promoter stake in the laboratories venture will get transferred to the Fortis Healthcare.

It’s a season of investments. Coal India, India’s largest coal miner, is looking to invest $3 billion in a coking coal mine, steel plant and sea port in Indonesia. The company is expected to complete feasibility studies by June this year.

Syndicate Bank is planning to raise up to $1 billion through medium term notes. The bank wants to use the funds to strengthen its capital base and lending.

McNally Bharat Engineering increased its holding in LSE listed Specialist Energy Group Plc to over 22%. The move is being seen as a precursor to a takeover of the company. The company generates most of its revenues by supplying fluid filled electric motors and pumps to oil & gas, power industries.

Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has started store sales of fexofenadine hydrochloride tablets in the US. The tablets, used for treatment of hay fever, have a market worth over $450 million.

IVRCL Assets & Holdings, a subsidiary of IVRCL Infrastructure, is looking to divest its stake in three road projects in Tamil Nadu. While two projects have already moved to tolling mode, the third project is expected to be commissioned in 2013.

Tulip Telecom wants to offload its stake in a JV with Qualcomm once the American major decides to exit the Indian broadband wireless market. The JV has three partners – Qualcomm, Tulip Telecom and Global Holding Ltd. Read more...

And finally, a Chinese man was arrested for creating a fake US army unit. The 51 year old charged $300 to $450 a person as a fee for taking fellow immigrants into the fake army unit. He persuaded immigrants to join the army by saying that joining the army paves the way for a US citizenship. Read more...