Domestic stocks drifted higher in early trade on bargain hunting after three-day fall. At 9:24 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 109.16 points or 0.31% at 35,421.29. The Nifty 50 index was up 24.40 points or 0.23% at 10,625.55.
On the political front, the outcomes of the five state elections will likely set the tone for the general elections next year. Voting in Rajasthan and Telangana will take place today, 7 December 2018 and the counting of votes in all the states will be done on 11 December 2018. Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram were held on 28 November 2018. The election in Chhattisgarh Assembly was held in two phases on 12 and 20 November 2018.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was strong. On the BSE, 700 shares rose and 467 shares fell. A total of 63 shares were unchanged.
Overseas, Asian stocks were trading mixed as investors grappled with shifting indications on US-China trade talks and prospects for a pause in Federal Reserve tightening.
US stocks closed mostly lower Thursday after a dramatic session that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunge more than 700 points at one point on fears that the arrest of a Huawei executive would reignite trade worries. However, the market clawed back most of its losses on a report that the Federal Reserve may turn more accommodative.
Market participants are also monitoring a two-day meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna, which is slated to wrap up Friday. Crude-oil prices renewed their descent after the Saudi energy minister proposed a smaller-than-expected cut to production, but added that the oil cartel hadn't yet agreed to any production declines.
Back home, HCL Technologies (HCL) lost 3.95%. HCL said it will acquire select IBM software products for $1.8 billion. The transaction is expected to close by mid-2019, subject to completion of applicable regulatory reviews. The software products in scope represent a total addressable market of more than $50 billion and include Appscan for secure application development, BigFix for secure device management, Unica (on-premise) for marketing automation, Commerce (on-premise) for omni-channel eCommerce, Portal (on-premise) for digital experience, Notes & Domino for email and low-code rapid application development, and Connections for workstream collaboration. HCL and IBM have an ongoing IP Partnership for five of these products. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 6 December 2018.
Wipro dropped 1.61%. Wipro's digital business arm, Wipro Digital, and Alfresco, a leading enterprise open source provider of process automation, content management and information governance software, announced an expanded global partnership to create, build and run open source based digital transformation programs for its clients, across the globe. The partnership will bring together Wipro's expertise in digital transformation and Alfresco's Digital Business Platform. As a part of this alliance, the two companies will launch a series of go-to market (GTM) initiatives, that includes a joint Predictive Service Automation solution using Artificial Intelligence, Machine learning and a microservices based framework, that will transform the future of asset maintenance. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 6 December 2018.
Coal India shed 0.5%. Coal India announced after market hours yesterday, 6 December 2018, that the President of India, acting through the Ministry of Coal, Government of India, has sold 13.73 crore equity shares, or 2.21% equity, of Coal India to Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management. This is with reference to the setting up of the central public sector enterprise exchange traded fund (CPSE ETF) comprising equity shares of central public sector enterprises (CPSE), which was launched as the CPSE ETF mutual fund scheme (Scheme) in March 2014. Post-acquisition holding of promoter is 72.92% of equity share capital of the company.
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