Sensex, Nifty open in red; Infosys down 2%
Domestic markets on Monday opened in red amid weak global cues. At 0919 hours BSE Sensex was trading at 29,564.03, down 84.96 points or 0.28%, while NSE Nifty was trading at 9,141.55, down 18.50 points or 0.20%.
On 30-share benchmark, among top gainers were Hindustan Unilever (1.31%), Cipla (0.88%), Adani Ports (0.86%), Bharti Airtel (0.76%) and Lupin (0.72%). Among top losers were Infosys (-1.96%), ICICI Bank (-1.41%), Gail (-0.95%), Tata Consultancy Services (-0.79%), Tata Steel (-0.62%).
The investors will closely watch the Cabinet's decision on approval for supporting GST legislations, which will then be introduced in Parliament as the government sprints to meet the July 1 target date for rollout of the new indirect tax regime.
Moreover, movement of the Rupee will be in focus this week. The Indian rupee strengthened by 1.15 paise in the week gone by to Rs. 65.46 against the US dollar.
On the IPO side, CL Educate and Shankara Building Products are ready to hit the market this week with their initial public offerings to raise a total of Rs 584 crore.
The bidding for the CL Educate issue will start on March 20 and close on March 22 while Shankara Building Products' IPO will open for public subscription on March 22 and go on till March 24.
Stocks in focus:
Adani Enterprises: The company on Sunday said it would finalise an investment decision by June for its Carmichael coal project in the northern Australian state of Queensland, which has been delayed due to protests from environmental groups.
Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd: On Sunday, BSNL CMD Anupam Shrivastava has said the combination will be "advantageous" for both (BSNL-MTNL merger) the state-owned telecom firms but issues pertaining to debt and salary structure will need to be sorted out first.
A Parliamentary panel report has pointed out that the Telecom Department is planning to place the merger proposal before the Cabinet by June.
Infosys: The IT-major decided not to apply for H1-B visas for junior employees or employees with under four years of experience, as reported by Economic Times.
PSU Banks: The central government has decided to infuse fresh capital totalling Rs 8,586 crore into 10 weak banks subject to commitment to quarterly milestones by bank boards, management, employees and unions, said a top leader of All India Bank Employees` Union (AIBEA) on Sunday.
ONGC: State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has signed definitive agreements to buy out debt-ridden GSPC's entire 80 per cent stake in KG-basin natural gas block for $1.2 billion.
State Bank of India: The government is expected to give final approval to the merger of Bharatiya Mahila Bank with the country's largest lender SBI within three months.
The Cabinet last month approved amalgamation of five associates of SBI with the parent but the merger of Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) was not considered due to some issues, sources said.
On the global front, Asian stocks were slightly weaker early on Monday, following Wall Street's declines and the G20's decision to drop a pledge to avoid trade protectionism, while the Federal Reserve's seemingly dovish stance last week continued to drag the dollar lower, as reported by Reuters.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was fractionally lower. Japan is closed for a holiday, the report added.