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Asian stock markets are trading on a steady note today as traders weighed risks from China to the global recovery and the prospect of reduced Federal Reserve stimulus.

The Hang Seng was up 0.3%, while the Shanghai Composite was down 0.6%. The Nikkei rose 0.5%.

In US stock markets, Wall Street indices fell on Thursday as losses in heavyweight tech and oil stocks offset cheer over strong retail sales indicating economic resilience.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 63 points, or 0.2% while the Nasdaq Composite added 20 points, or 0.1%.

Back home, Indian share markets have opened on a positive note, following the trend on SGX Nifty.

The BSE Sensex is trading up by 391 points. Meanwhile, the NSE Nifty is trading higher by 98 points.

Bajaj Finance and ITC are among the top gainers today.

Tata Steel, on the other hand, is among the top losers today.

Both, the BSE Mid Cap index and the BSE Small Cap index have opened higher by 0.3%.

Sectoral indices are trading mixed with stocks in the realty sector and banking sector witnessing buying interest.

Power stocks and metal stocks, on the other hand, are trading in red.

Shares of Sunteck Realty and Avenue Supermarts hit their 52-week highs today.

The rupee is trading at 73.51 against the US$.

Gold prices are trading down by 0.1% at 46,050 per 10 grams.

Meanwhile, silver prices are trading up by 0.2% at 61,223 per kg.

Crude oil prices are flat today even as more supply came back online in the US Gulf of Mexico following two hurricanes.

Moving on to stock specific news…

Hindustan Copper is among the top buzzing stocks today.

Centre’s up to 10% stake sale in Hindustan Copper received good response on day 1 with institutional investors putting in bids of over 7 bn.

As against the over 43.5 m shares on offer, institutional investors put in bids for more than 61.4 m shares, or 1.41 times the offer size.

The government is selling 10% stake in Hindustan Copper which includes a green-shoe option of 5%.

The floor price for this offer for sale (OFS) was set at 116 per share.

If the OFS is subscribed fully, this 10% stake sale would fetch the government around 11 bn.

The share sale will open for retail investors today.

At present, the government holds 72.76% stake in the company, under the administrative control of the Mines Ministry.

Note that this is the third time the government is offloading its stake in a public sector undertaking (PSU) through an OFS in the current financial year.

The first one was NMDC and the second being HUDCO.

So far, the government has mopped up 83.7 bn through OFS of NMDC, HUDCO and selling stake in Axis Bank in the current fiscal.

Hindustan Copper share price has opened the day up by 0.3%.

Note that copper prices have been on downtrend as the metal's August imports by top consumer China fell to their lowest since June 2019. This was because high prices and sluggish economic growth hit demand.

London copper prices have roughly traded within $9,000-$10,000 a tonne since hitting a record high of $10,747.50 per tonne in May 2020.

Because of this, shares of Hindustan Copper have been on a downtrend for the past few months.

Hindustan Copper stock performance.
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Hindustan Copper stock performance.

Moving on to news from the telecom sector, Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal has reportedly spoken to Vodafone Group CEO Nick Read about the need to invest more.

Advising Vodafone Idea to pump in funds to stay in the game, Mittal said at a virtual press meet on Thursday that they need to contribute their own money in the company.

UK-based Vodafone and its joint venture partner in India, Aditya Birla Group, have maintained till recently that they would not throw good money after bad.

Mittal also had a conversation with Reliance Industries Chairman and MD Mukesh Ambani on all telcos working together.

He said they spoke about the need for synergy between the telecom players.

Time has come for three plus one operators to close ranks and work as a team for building telecommunications rather than being fierce competitors. We will compete, but just like in other industries like steel, build the eco system together.

This comes just a day after the Centre announced a relief package for the telecom sector.

The government has offered a moratorium, which will be applicable from 1 October. Any company that decides to avail of it would pay interest at the rate of the marginal cost of funds-based lending rate (MCLR) plus 2%.

Acknowledging that Bharti Airtel would avail the moratorium of dues offered by the government, Mittal said the company would redirect the cash flow to aggressively build networks.

Suggesting collaboration through sharing infrastructure like FTTH, local loop unbundling, fibre and submarine cable, Mittal said companies should also work together in bringing in more discipline in market practices like commissions, dealer margins, portability amongst others.

Stressing the need for tariff hike by 20-30% to sustain the high capex, Mittal said Airtel had already taken a lead.

He also said that their next big bet would probably be the infrastructure space.

Bharti Airtel share price has opened the day up by 0.5%.

(This article is syndicated from Equitymaster.com)

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