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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

BSE Bulk Deals to Watch - Feb 25 2009

Deal Date Scrip Code Company Client Name Deal Type * Quantity Price **
25/2/2009 508860 DIAMANT INV ARTISTIC FINANCE PVT LTD B 6000 46.28
25/2/2009 531524 I.C.S.A. IND OPG SECURITIES P LTD B 304898 83.33
25/2/2009 531524 I.C.S.A. IND OPG SECURITIES P LTD S 304898 83.28
25/2/2009 532342 IT PEOPLE IT PEOPLE PVT LTD B 863900 5.15
25/2/2009 532342 IT PEOPLE EITBIZ INDIA LTD S 853030 5.15
25/2/2009 512267 MEDIA MATRIX PYRAMID SALES PVT LTD B 1500000 4.32
25/2/2009 512267 MEDIA MATRIX VIMOCHAN PICTURES LTD S 1500000 4.32
25/2/2009 590011 MOVING PICTU-PMS BIKRAM SURI B 47053 6.21
25/2/2009 590011 MOVING PICTU-PMS NEHA SURI S 47053 6.21
25/2/2009 531952 RIBA TEXTILE SHAILESH SOMABHAI PATEL B 40000 29.53
25/2/2009 531901 SAARC NET SHIVSHANKER C JOSHI B 500000 1.05
25/2/2009 531898 SANGUINE MD HEENA KAUSHIK MEHTA B 140000 3.67
25/2/2009 512048 SPLASH MEDIA SUNIL BHANDARI B 7500 70.00
25/2/2009 512048 SPLASH MEDIA KAMLESH NAHAR B 7500 74.65
25/2/2009 512048 SPLASH MEDIA REKHA BHANDARI B 7500 70.00
25/2/2009 512048 SPLASH MEDIA DAZZEL CONFINDIVE LTD B 7000 74.69
25/2/2009 532311 TUTIS TECH OGHEWARCHAND JOGANI B 100000 12.66
25/2/2009 533011 VISHAL INFO PRAVINA ROHITKUMAR MEHTA B 100000 320.25
25/2/2009 531249 WELL PACK PA VISHESH.SHAHRA B 64100 67.87

NSE Bulk Deal Watch - Feb 25 2009

Date,Symbol,Security Name,Client Name,Buy/Sell,Quantity Traded,Trade Price / Wght. Avg. Price,Remarks
25-FEB-2009,EDUCOMP,Educomp Solutions Limited,C D INTEGRATED SERVICES LTD,BUY,221110,1653.93,-
25-FEB-2009,GSSAMERICA,GSS America Infotech Limi,NAGARJUN VALLURIPALLI,BUY,70000,126.31,-
25-FEB-2009,ICSA,ICSA (India) Limited,MARY ASHWINI DODA,BUY,1192000,75.00,-
25-FEB-2009,ICSA,ICSA (India) Limited,SRAVANTHI YAKKANTI,BUY,393683,75.00,-
25-FEB-2009,VITLINFO,Vishal Information Techno,H K STOCK SERVICES PVT LTD,BUY,7296,322.49,-
25-FEB-2009,VITLINFO,Vishal Information Techno,PRAVINA ROHITKUMAR MEHTA,BUY,117135,320.65,-
25-FEB-2009,EDUCOMP,Educomp Solutions Limited,C D INTEGRATED SERVICES LTD,SELL,221110,1655.12,-
25-FEB-2009,GSSAMERICA,GSS America Infotech Limi,NAGARJUN VALLURIPALLI,SELL,70000,119.14,-
25-FEB-2009,ICSA,ICSA (India) Limited,CLSA (MAURITIUS) LIMITED,SELL,303342,84.01,-
25-FEB-2009,VITLINFO,Vishal Information Techno,H K STOCK SERVICES PVT LTD,SELL,56996,321.82,-
25-FEB-2009,VITLINFO,Vishal Information Techno,PRAVINA ROHITKUMAR MEHTA,SELL,17135,308.23,-

Post Session Commentary - Feb 25 2009

Indian market today ended the day in positive zone on significant buying led by announcement of third stimulus package by the government on 24th February and rate cut expectations. The stimulus includes 2% cut in service tax rates to 10% and reduction in excise duty from 10% to 8%. Along with this firm cues from the global markets also contributed to the northward journey. Though, market came off of the day’s high during final trading hours as few key stocks pared gains. Market was exhibiting a bit of volatility ahead of expiry of month derivative contract on 26th Feb 2009.

The domestic market today opened on pleasant note supported by positive global markets. The US markets on Tuesday gained momentum after a six-session of losing streak after Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke calmed the increasing fears of bank nationalization plan by the Obama administration. In the domestic arena, second stimulus package for the economy announced on 24th Feb, also lifted the domestic bourses. Further, benchmark indices continued to trade on positive zone on strong buying over the ground. However, during the last trading hours market was not able to hold the momentum as pace of gaining ground restricted and market came off the days’ high. BSE Sensex ended around 8,900 mark and NSE Nifty closed above 2,750 level. From the sectoral front, most of the indices ended in green. Besides, Auto, IT, Teck, Metal, Metal, Oil & Gas, Power and Bank stocks contributed to most of the buying. Midcap and Smallcap stocks also followed the same trend. However, Reality and Capital Goods stocks remained out of favour during the trading session.

Among the Sensex pack 23 stocks ended in green territory and 7 in red. The market breadth indicating the overall health of the market remained positive as 1228 stocks closed in green while 1188 stocks closed in red and 107 stocks remained unchanged in BSE.

The BSE Sensex closed higher by 80.50 points at 8,902.56 and NSE Nifty ended up by 28.6 points at 2,762.5. Broader market indices were in green as BSE Mid Caps and Small Caps ended with gains of 14.53 points and 18.58 points at 2,756.98 and 3,134.69 respectively. The BSE Sensex touched intraday high of 8,995.04 and intraday low of 8,879.72.

Gainers from the BSE Sensex pack are M&M Ltd (7.90%), Tata Motors (5.87%), Reliance Infra (3.6%), Sterlite Industries (3.20%), TCS Ltd (2.85%), Infosys Tech (2.72%) and Wipro Ltd (2.47%).

Losers from the BSE Sensex pack are Ranbaxy Lab (3.54%), HDFC (2.68%), L&T Ltd (2.08%), DLF Ltd (1.75%) and HUL (1.75%).

On 24th February, the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced the much-awaited third stimulus package. The stimulus has offered across-the-board cut in excise and service tax rates to save and support the domestic economy. The stimulus includes 2% cut in service tax rates to 10%. The minister announced that on goods that attract 10% excise duty will now be charged at 8%. However, excise rates on items that attract 8% and 4% excise duty will not be changed. Further the excise duty on bulk cement has been fixed at 8% or Rs 230 per tonne. The customs duty on Naphtha will continue beyond March 31, 2009.

According to Goldman Sachs, the combined fiscal deficit of India at around 11% of GDP is now among the highest in the world. The deficit is unlikely to come down in the next few years. Also, global rating agencies like Moody''s, Fitch and S&P have warned that India''s rating may be downgraded. Policymakers insisted that rising deficit is expected to continue, given the government''s increased spending is likely to continue.

On the global markets front the Asian markets which opened before the Indian market, closed higher on the back of overnight gains in the US markets. Shanghai Composite, Nikkei 225, Hang Seng, Seoul Composite and Straits Times index ended up by 5.92, 206.56, 192.66, 2.35 and 3.2 points at 2,206.57, 13,005.08, 7,461.22, 1,6146.79 and 1,067.08 respectively.

European markets which opened after the Indian market are also trading up. In London FTSE 100 is trading higher by 55.68 points at 3,872.12 and in Frankfurt the DAX index is trading up by 70.39 points at 3,966.14.

The BSE Auto index ended up by (3%) or 76.34 points at 2,622.38 on reduction in excise duty to 8% from 10%. Gainers are M&M Ltd (7.90%), Amtek Auto (6.57%), Tata Motors (5.87%), Bharat Forge (3.57%) and Bajaj Auto (3.47%).

The BSE IT index ended higher by (2.52%) or 51.27 points to close at 2,086.93 on US President Barak Obama''s efforts to set in motion the US economy. Mphasis Ltd (6.77%), TCS Ltd (2.85%), Infosys Tech (2.72%), Wipro Ltd (2.47%) and Oracle Fin (1.97%) ended in positive territory.

The BSE Teck index gained (1.56%) or 26.79 points to close at 1,739.95. Mphasis Ltd (6.77%), Adlabs Films (4.47%), TCS Ltd (2.85%), IOL Netcom (2.75%) and Infosys Tech (2.72%) ended in green.

The BSE Metal stocks gained (1.28%) or 58.57 points to close at 4,642.64 mainly on reports that steel prices are set to come down by up to Rs 600 a tonne following the government cutting excise duty from 10% to 8%. Main gainers are Nalco (4.14%), Jindal Steel (3.70%), Hindalco (2.43%), Welspan Gujarat SR (2.01%) and Sterlite In (1.37%).

The BSE Oil & Gas index closed with increase of (1.03%) or 62.03 points at 6,087.30 as benefited from lower service tax on exploration & production activities which currently stands at 12.36%. Scrips that gained are Cairn Ind (3.22%), ONGC Ltd (2.37%) and Reliance (1.01%).

The BSE Reality index lost (0.39%) or 5.60 points at 1,447.29. Main losers are Anant Raj (4.99%), Mahindra Life (2.77%), DLF Ltd (1.75%) and Housing Dev (0.99%).

Suzlon Energy Ltd closed up by 2.22% as Suzlon Energy Australia Pty Ltd., a step-down wholly owned subsidiary of Suzlon Energy Ltd has entered into an agreement with AGL Energy Ltd for supply of 54 units of Suzlons S88-2.1 MW wind turbine generators translating to 113.4 MW capacity in Australia in 2009.

Hindustan Dorr Oliver Ltd gained 19.40%. The company has informed that the Company has bagged a prestigious order for Uranium Ore Processing Plant from Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL) worth Rs 441 crores for their Greenfiled Ore Mining and Processing facility of capacity 3000 MTPD coming up at Tumalapalle in Andhra Pradesh on LSTK basis.

Satyam Computer gained 2.62%. The company has got the approval from SEBI for issuing preferential shares to a strategic investor at a price, which can be lower than what rules allowed till now.

Ashok Leyland gained 3.26%, due to likely cut in truck prices following a cut in excise duty may boost sagging demand.

DLF dropped 1.75%. The company has reduced the prices for the flats by up to Rs 13 lakh at its new residential project in Chennai and this is the third city, after Bangalore and Hyderabad, where the price reduction have been announced in the last few weeks.

Auto, IT stocks lead rally

Key benchmark indices snapped last two day's losses on a third stimulus package for the economy and firm global markets. Auto and IT stocks led the rally.

The market, however, cut strong intraday gains on concerns about rising borrowing costs for corporates. The BSE 30-share Sensex was up 80.50 points, or 0.91%, off close to 90 points from the day's high. The barometer index had lost lost 220.57 points or 2.43% in the preceding two trading sessions.

Recovery in global markets and government's second stimulus for the economy announced during trading hours on Tuesday, 24 February 2009, had lifted Sensex nearly 2% in afternoon trade. A sharp slide was witnessed in late trade soon after the Sensex came within striking distance of the psychological 9,000 level.

Just before the announcement of a stimulus package by the government, the global rating agency S&P during trading hours on Tuesday, 24 February 2009, cut its outlook on India's long-term sovereign credit rating to negative from stable citing worsening government finances, which could raise Indian firms' overseas borrowing costs and weaken the rupee. Moody's today, 25 February 2009, said India's wider fiscal deficit will boost funding costs and weaken investor confidence.

Volatility may rule the roost on the bourses tomorrow, 26 February 2009, ahead of the expiry of February 2009 derivatives contracts. As per reports, rollover of Nifty positions from February 2009 series to March 2009 series stood at 54% while marketwide rollover of positions was 42%, as on Tuesday, 24 February 2009.

The government on Tuesday cut excise duty and service taxes in an effort to boost demand and revive growth in economy as it reels under the impact of the global economic crisis. Stand-in finance minister Pranab Mukherjee announced a cut in excise duty to 8% for items attracting 10% duty. The government also extended an across-the-board 4% reduction in excise duty, provided in the first stimulus package, beyond this fiscal-end. Service tax was slashed by 2% across-the-board.

While the reduction in service tax will put additional income in the hands of the consumer as there is a service tax component on many services, the impact of the cut to either to prop up consumer demand or the economy at large, will not be significant, according to a note by a domestic brokerage.

Rather, the latest fiscal stimulus by the government estimated at Rs 30,000 crore could further deteriorate government finances. Although the tax cuts will inject much needed support into the economy, they may heighten concerns about the country's already large public debt, Moody's Sherman Chan said. S&P expects government deficit, including off-budget measures such as oil and fertilizer bonds, to increase to 11.4% in the fiscal year ending 31 March, 2009, from 5.7% in the previous fiscal year.

Moody's also said that investment growth is set to slow notably this year

Investor sentiment remains edgy due to heavy sales by foreign funds this year. FII outflow in February 2009 totaled Rs 1744.80 crore (till 24 February 2009). FII outflow in calendar year 2009 totaled Rs 5978.70 crore (till 24 February 2009).

European stocks recovered on Wednesday, snapping a three-day losing streak, on overnight rally in the Wall Street. The key benchmark indices in France, Germany and UK were up by between 1.44% to 1.84%.

Asian stocks rose taking relief from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's statements against nationalisation of banks. Key benchmark indices in Singapore, Taiwan, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan rose by between 0.05% to 2.65%.

US stocks surged on Tuesday, 24 February 2009, rebounding from 12-year lows, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivered a dose of relief when he signalled that nationalisation of big US banks was not on the cards.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 236.16 points, or 3.32 per cent, to 7,350.94. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 29.81 points, or 4.01 per cent, to 773.14. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 54.11 points, or 3.90 per cent, to 1,441.83.

The Fed chairman's remarks eased frayed nerves that the Treasury's capital-injection plan would hurt banks' shareholders and lead to nationalisation.

The BSE 30-share Sensex was up 80.50 points, or 0.91%, to 8,902.56. At the day's high of 8,995.04 Sensex gained 172.98 points in afternoon trade. The barometer index came within a striking distance of the psychological 9,000 level. At the day's low of 8,879.72, the Sensex rose 57.66 points in late trade.

The S&P CNX Nifty was up 28.60 points, or 1.05%, to 2,762.50.

The BSE clocked a turnover of Rs 2,210 crore today lower than Rs 2,457.09 crore on Tuesday, 24 February 2009.

Nifty February 2009 futures were at 2754.25, at a discount of 8.25 points as compared to the spot closing of 2762.50. Turnover in NSE's futures & options (F&O) segment was Rs 40,129.86 crore lower than Rs 45,693.52 crore on Tuesday, 24 February 2009. The near-month February 2009 derivatives contract will expire tomorrow, 26 February 2009.

The barometer index BSE Sensex has lost 732.18 points or 7.59% to 8,902.56 from a recent high of 9,634.74 on 13 February 2009. The Sensex is down 744.75 points or 7.71% in calendar 2009 from its close of 9,647.31 on 31 December 2008.

As per the provisional figures on BSE, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold shares worth Rs 384.37 crore today 25 February 2009 and domestic funds bought shares worth Rs 367.84 crore.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was marginally positive in contrast to a strong breadth witnessed earlier in the day. On BSE 1,230 shares advanced as compared to 1,215 shares that declined. A total of 66 shares remained unchanged.

From the 30 share Sensex pack, 23 stocks rose while rest fell. Reliance Infrastructure, Tata Power Company and Bharat Heavy Electricals rose by between 0.98% to 3.6%.

The BSE Auto index (up 3%), the BSE IT index (up 2.52%), the BSE TECk index (up 1.56%), the BSE Metal index (up 1.28%), the BSE Oil & Gas index (up 1.03%), the BSE Power index (up 0.99%) outperformed the Sensex.

The BSE Realty index (down 0.39%), the BSE Capital Goods index (down 0.36%), the BSE Consumer Durables index (up 0.03%), the BSE FMCG index (up 0.15%), the BSE Healthcare index (up 0.76%), the BSE PSU index (up 0.86%), the BSE Bankex (up 0.86%), underperfomed the Sensex

Oil exploration and production firms rose as they stand to benefit from lower service tax on exploration & production activities which currently stands at 12.36%. India's largest private sector company by market capitalization and oil refiner Reliance Industries (RIL) rose 1.03% to Rs 1,266. But the stock came off the day's high of Rs 1,285.

India's largest oil exploration firm by revenue ONGC rose 2.37% to Rs 696.75. Recent report said the company has discovered oil in the hydrocarbon rich Krishna Godavari basin.

India's largest engineering and construction firm by sales Larsen & Toubro fell 2.06% to Rs 612.45 on worries a slowing economy will crimp orders.

Banking stocks pared gains on fears of rising defaults in a weakening economy. Bank stocks had surged earlier in the day on hopes the central bank would cut rates to support faltering growth as inflation fell to its lowest in more than 13 months in early February 2009, dropping below 4%, and on overnight jump in American Depository Receipts (ADRs). India's second largest private sector bank by net profit HDFC Bank rose 0.85% to Rs 864.15, off the day's high of Rs 871.30. Its ADR rose 7.24% on Tuesday, 24 February 2009.

India's largest private sector bank by net profit ICICI Bank rose 1.45% to Rs 340.50, off the day's high of Rs 350. Its ADR rose 5.31% on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Life Insurance Corporation of India has hiked its stake in ICICI Bank by 2.04% to 9.38%.

India's largest bank in terms of assets and branch network State Bank of India rose 0.92% to Rs 1,037.75, off the day's high of Rs 1,058.70. The Indian government on Tuesday 24 February 2009 introduced a bill in Parliament which will enable it to increase the capital base of State Bank of India's subsidiaries and issue preference and bonus shares of these entities.

Oriental Bank of Commerce rose 2.49% after a block deal of 7.25 lakh shares was executed on NSE at Rs 109.50 per share.

There are expectations that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will cut interest rates further to support faltering growth. A sharp fall in inflation has provided room for the central bank to cut rates. The global financial sector crisis and recession in key global economies have pushed economic growth in India down to a six-year low. The Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) has pegged India's projected GDP growth for the year ending March 2009 at 7.1%, the slowest in six years and below the previous year's 9% rise.

Despite a steep cut in policy rates in India since October 2008, there has not been a commensurate reduction in lending rates by banks as fears of rising bad loans have made banks cautious in increasing advances.

Meanwhile, following an across-the-board 2% reduction in service tax, bank customers will see a sharp reduction in credit card charges, loan processing charges and foreign exchange charges among others.

Steel stocks rose on reports steel prices are set to come down by up to Rs 600 a tonne following the government cutting excise duty from 10% to 8%. Jindal Steel, JSW Steel, Steel Authority of India, Tata Steel, Bhushan Steel rose by between 0.46% 3.7%. The cut in prices may spur demand.

However, as steel firms will pass on the entire duty cut by way of reduction in prices, it will not have a favourable impact on profitability of steel firms, according to a note by the domestic brokerage mentioned above.

Other metal stocks also jumped. Sterlite Industries, Hindustan Zinc, Hindalco Industries, National Aluminum Company rose by between 0.61% to 4.14%.

IT pivotals rose on US President Barak Obama's efforts to kickstart the US economy and on spurt in ADRs overnight. India's third largest software services exporter, Wipro rose 2.47% as its ADR rose 2% overnight. India's second largest software services exporter Infosys Technologies jumped 2.72% as its ADR rose 4.65% overnight. India's largest software services exporter by sales TCS gained 2.85%.

Obama on Tuesday night that the United States will emerge from the recession stronger than before. IT firms derive a lion's share of revenue from exports to US. There have been concerns of cut back in technology spend by global firms amid a recession in the US economy and due to the global financial sector crisis.

The Indian rupee turned weak as gains in the local share market helped calm concerns of rising outflows. The partially convertible rupee was at 49.95 per dollar, weaker compared to Tuesday's close of 49.87/88. A weaker rupee affects operating margin of IT firms positively as they earn most of their revenues from exports.

Auto stocks rose on cut in excise duty by the government yesterday 24 February 2009. India's largest commercial vehicle maker by sales Tata Motors jumped 5.87%. India's second largest commercial vehicle maker by sales Ashok Leyland rose 3.26%.

Other Auto stocks, Maruti Suzuki India, Hero Honda Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra rose by between 0.09% to 7.9%.

Ashok Leyland on Wednesday said it had decided to pass on the full benefit of the tax reduction to customers, and that the average prices of its vehicles will be lowered by Rs 16,000. Tata Motors also reportedly cut vehicle prices by about 2%.

However, price cut alone is unlikely to revive sluggish demand for trucks. Currently, the commercial vehicles (CV) industry is struggling to source retail finance as banks and other financial institutions have refrained from lending to the sector. According the latest report from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam), sales in the CV industry fell by almost 20% at 3,11,283 units for the period April 2008-January 2009 over the period April 2007-January 2008.

High interest rates and a slowdown in the economy have impacted demand for trucks.

Some tyre stocks rose on reports tyre makers will reduce prices passing on the excise duty cut announced by the government. Ceat and MRF rose by between 1.03% to 0.89% respectively.

Cement shares ended mixed after firm start on reports cement prices are likely to drop by Rs 4 to Rs 5 per 50-kilogram bag following a reduction in excise duty which may boost demand for the commodity. UltraTech Cement and Grasim Industries rose 4.01% and 1.62% respectively. Ambuja Cement and ACC fell 1.98% and 0.12% respectively. The rate of central excise on bulk cement has been cut from 10% or Rs 290 per metric tonne (PMT) whichever is higher to 8% or Rs 230 PMT whichever is higher.

Telecom service providers gained on reports the excise and service tax cuts announced on Tuesday, 24 February 2009 would reduce mobile tariff for users and network rollout costs for telecom service providers. Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular Services and MTNL rose by between 0.61% to 1.56%. While India's second largest tlecom services provider by sales Reliance Communications fell 1.75%.

Some of the FMCG stocks rose on defensive buying. Tata Tea, ITC, Britannia Industries, REI Agro and United Spirits rose by between 0.58% to 6.51%.

Some Healthcare stocks too rose on defensive buying, Cipla, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Biocon, Pfizer and Dr Reddy's Laboratories rose by between 0.19% to 1.91%.

Television broadcasters rose as service tax on advertisement sales, which would now stand reduced following an across-the-board 2% reduction in service tax. NDTV and TV 18 India rose by between 0.86% to 2.06%.

Cals Refineries clocked the highest volume of 1.23 crore shares on BSE. Satyam Computer Services (96.7 lakh shares), DLF (72.21 lakh shares), Unitech (67.7 lakh shares) and Suzlon Energy (62.57 lakh shares) were the other volume toppers in that order.

Educomp Solutions clocked the highest turnover of Rs 164.24 crore on BSE. Reliance Industries (122.58 crore), DLF (Rs 113.71 crore), ICICI Bank (Rs 107.81 crore) and Reliance Infrastructure (Rs 94.14 lakh) were the other turnover toppers in that order.

Asian Markets open positive

Asian stocks gained, led by Japanese automakers and the region`s mining companies, as the yen weakened and commodity prices rose.

Toyota Motor advanced more than 3%.

Japanese benchmark index Nikkei advanced 114.37 points, or 1.57%, to trade at 7,382.93.

Hong Kong`s Hang Seng index gained 181.34 points, or 1.42%, to trade at 12,979.86.

China`s Shanghai Composite fell 4.65 points, or 0.21%, to trade at 2,196.01.

Taiwan`s Taiex index rose 95.39 points, or 2.15%, to trade at 4,525.57.

South Korea`s Kospi index climbed 9.21 points, or 0.87%, to trade at 1,073.09.

Singapore`s Straits Times advanced 12.26 points, or 0.76%, to trade at 1,626.70. (7.42 a.m., IST).

PSU Banks

PSU Banks

Pre Session Commentary - Feb 25 2009

Today domestic markets are likely to open with a positive gap as the new stimulus package from the UPA government would pump the sentiments of investors. The US markets closed in green and the other Asian markets have also opened with phenomenal gains. Amidst the economic stimulus package, investors are likely to take fresh positions on heavy weights. Banking stocks may bounce back as the RBI is expected to further reduce its key rates like CRR and Repo by 50bps each. One could witness a phenomenal trend today on the back of fiscal stimulus and further RBI rate cut expectations.

On Tuesday, the markets opened with a choppy trade however later managed to pare off its losses and ended flat. The sentiments during the opening session were very weak due to influence of losses in the other Asian markets. However the upward movement was witnessed with phenomenal buying across frontline stocks. The third stimulus package was announced by Pranab Mukherjee which included 2% cut in service tax rates to 10%. The minister also announced that on goods that attract 10% excise duty will now be charged at 8%. However, excise rates on items that attract 8% and 4% excise duty will not be changed. Further the excise duty on bulk cement has been fixed at 8% or Rs 230 per tonne. The customs duty on Naptha will continue beyond March 31, 2009. The abrupt gain across the frontline stocks also witnessed some profit booking therefore Sensex and Nifty closed with marginal losses of 0.24% and 0.09% respectively. The top laggards in the sector indices were Metal, Bankex and PSU that fell by 2.31%, 1.36% and 0.71% respectively. During the session we expect the markets to be trading positive.

The BSE Sensex closed low by 21.15 points at 8,822.06 and NSE Nifty ended flat at 2,733.90. The BSE Mid Caps and Small Caps ended with losses of 49.27 points and 44.48 points at 2,742.45 and 3,116.11 respectively. The BSE Sensex touched intraday high of 8,856.52 and intraday low of 8,619.22.

On Tuesday, the US stock markets closed in green. The day''s rally was due to short covering as the markets had closed low in the prior session. The rally came ahead of President Obama''s national address this evening, followed by Fed Chairman Bernanke''s semiannual testimony to the Senate Banking Committee, which did not provide any further detail regarding government plans to shore up the banking system. Bernanke has further indicated that the outlook for economic activity is uncertain and downside risks probably outweigh those to the upside. He also stated that the recession may end in 2009 and the economy may recover in 2010. US light crude oil for April delivery grew by USD1.52 to settle at $39.96 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) inclined by 236.16 points to close at 7,350.94. The NASDAQ Composite (RIXF) index grew by 54.11 points to close at 1,441.83 and the S&P 500 (SPX) grew by 29.81 points to close at 773.14.

Today major stock markets in Asia are trading in green. Shanghai composite is down by 17.57 points to 2,183.08, Japan''s Nikkei is high by 102.47 points at 7,371.03. Hang Seng is also up by 147.85 points at 12,946.37, South Korea''s Seoul Composite is up by 8.64 points at 1,072.52 and Singapore''s Strait Times is high by 7.33 points to 1,621.77.

Indian ADRs ended mostly higher. In technology sector, Infosys ended up by 4.65% along with Satyam by 2.92%. Further, Wipro ended with increase of 2% while Patni Computers closed down by 1%. In banking sector HDFC Bank and ICICI Bank gained 7.24% and 5.31% respectively. In telecommunication sector, Tata Communication advanced by 5.32% while MTNL dropped by 3.85%. However, Sterlite Industries decreased by 1.05%.

The FIIs on Tuesday stood as net sellers in equity and net buyers in debt. Gross equity purchased stood at Rs 967.50 Crore and gross debt purchased stood at Rs. 25.50 Crore, while the gross equity sold stood at Rs 1139.80 Crore and gross debt sold stood at Rs. 0.00 Crore. Therefore, the net investment of equity and debt reported were Rs (172.20) Crore and Rs 25.50 Crore respectively.

On Tuesday, the Indian rupee closed at 49.87/88, 0.3% weaker than its previous close of 49.72/74. The early crash in the domestic stock markets caused the fall of rupee, however the dollar sales by exporters and state-run banks helped limit the losses.

On BSE, total number of shares traded were 19.30 Crore and total turnover stood at Rs 2,457.09 Crore. On NSE, total number of shares traded were 44.36 Crore and total turnover was Rs 6,947.42 Crore.

Top traded volumes on NSE Nifty – Unitech with 32805138 shares, DLF with 18240745 shares, ICICI Bank with 15551602 shares, Suzlon with total volume traded 14525161 shares followed by SAIL with 10821149 shares.

On NSE Future and Options, total number of contracts traded in index futures was 1078108 with a total turnover of Rs 13,818.83 Crore. Along with this total number of contracts traded in stock futures were 1144000 with a total turnover of Rs 13,335.62 Crore. Total numbers of contracts for index options were 1292727 with a total turnover of Rs 17764.66 Crore and total numbers of contracts for stock options were 64833 and notional turnover was Rs 774.41 Crore.

Today, Nifty would have a support at 2,762 and resistance at 2,793 and BSE Sensex has support at 8,892 and resistance at 8,996.

US Markets gain

Financial sector leads market to strong gains after a long time

Stocks at Wall Street made a sudden comeback on Tuesday, 24 February. Couple of strong earning reports from retailers and news percolating that Microsoft might still be interested in a deal with Yahoo gave US stocks a much needed strong boost today. Also, Fed chairman Bernanke testified before the Senate today in his semiannual testimony. The main leadership came from the financial sector, nevertheless. With today's gain, market snapped its six continuous days of losing streak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended higher by 236 points at 7,350, the Nasdaq closed higher by 54 points at 1,441 and the S&P 500 closed higher by 30 points at 773. Market started the day on a strong note and with time gains just accelerated.

Twenty-nine of thirty Dow components ended in the green. Microsoft is the sole exception. Al ten sectors ended in the green.

The financial sector lent good support to the market today after JP Morgan reportedly said that its business is going strong in the current quarter.

Stocks actually began the session in positive territory as investors reacted positively to couple of good earning reports from retailers. Macy's announced this morning better-than-expected earnings per share results for the latest quarter. Nordstrom experienced a drop in margins as a result of competitive pricing pressure during the latest quarter, but the company still posted positive earnings per share surprise for the latest quarter.

Home improvement retailer Home Depot's results topped Wall Street's consensus estimate for latest quarter. Home Depot did indicate that it expects slower sales and earnings to continue into 2009, though. Target was the only one to miss earning expectation.

Fed Chairman Bernanke continued with his semiannual testimony in front of the Senate Banking Committee. The testimony continues to dominate financial news coverage.

Bernanke noted in his remarks that measures taken by the Federal Reserve, other U.S. government entities, and foreign governments have helped restore a degree of stability to some financial markets. However, he noted that first banks have to be stabilized and then only overall development despite a range of lower borrowing costs, significant stresses persist in many markets.

Oil prices shot up on Tuesday, 24 February, 2009. Prices rose after OPEC spoke about another production cut in coming months. Prices also rose today in synchronization with the rise in stocks at Wall Street. On Tuesday, crude-oil futures for light sweet crude for April delivery closed at $39.96/barrel (higher by $1.52 or 4%) on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Last week, crude ended higher by 3.8%.

Tomorrow is also light on earnings and economic data. The only major economic release tomorrow is the existing home sales report for January. Othan that, Fed Chairman Bernanke will continue to provide his semiannual monetary policy report to the Senate Banking Committee.

Markets likely to rebound

Key benchmark indices are likely to open on an upbeat note, snapping two-day decline, tracking recovery across global markets. The SGX Nifty futures for February 2009 series advanced 32.50 points in Singapore.

The Indian government unveiled its third stimulus package at the fag end of the day's trading session on Tuesday, 24 February 2009, which will further boost sentiment. The government cut factory gate duties and service taxes in an effort to boost demand and revive growth in economy as it reels under the impact of the global economic crisis. Stand-in finance minister Pranab Mukherjee announced a cut in excise duty and service tax by 2% each and extended a 4% reduction in excise duty, provided in the first stimulus package, beyond this fiscal-end. He also announced excise duty cut on bulk cement by 2% or Rs 60 per metric tonne, whichever is higher.

The Finance Minister added the government is confident to overcome the impact of the global economic crisis on the domestic economy.

Volatility is also likely to remain high ahead of the February series F&O expiry on Thursday, 26 February 2009. As per reports, rollover of Nifty positions from February 2009 series to March 2009 series stood at 54% while marketwide rollover of positions was 42%, as on Tuesday, 24 February 2009.

Asian stocks kicked off trade on a firm note today, 25 February 2009, taking relief from Bernanke's statements against nationalisation of banks. China's Shanghai Composite was up 0.11% or 2.41 points at 2,203.06, Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 2.17% or 278.16 points at 13,076.68, Japan's Nikkei gained 1.59% or 115.35 points at 7,383.9, Singapore's Straits Times added 1.04% or 16.86 points at 1,631.30, South Korea's Seoul Composite jumped 1.39% or 14.8 points at 1,078.68 and Taiwan's Taiwan Weighted advanced 2.29% or 101.30 points at 4,531.48.

US stocks surged on Tuesday, 24 February 2009, rebounding from 12-year lows, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke delivered a dose of relief when he signalled that nationalisation of big banks was not on the cards.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 236.16 points, or 3.32 per cent, to 7,350.94. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 29.81 points, or 4.01 per cent, to 773.14. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 54.11 points, or 3.90 per cent, to 1,441.83.

The Fed chairman's remarks eased frayed nerves that the Treasury's capital-injection plan would hurt banks' shareholders and lead to nationalisation.

According to provisional data on NSE, FIIs were net sellers worth Rs 431.18 crore while mutual funds bought shares worth Rs 358.71 crore on Tuesday, 24 February 2009.

SGX Nifty Live Update - Feb 25 2009

SGX Nifty at 2,760.0 and is trading +32.5 points

TCS employees to work more!

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India's largest software company, is planning to extend working hours of its staff beginning April.

Sources familiar with the development said working hours could be increased between 10% and 15% from the current 40-hour, five-day week cycle.

A TCS spokesperson, responding to an emailed query on the move, said: "We continuously review our efficiencies and look at ways to serve customers better and improve our competitive position. Till date we have not made any changes in the working hours."

Analysts said this may well be how software companies offset the losses from repricing of their existing contracts.

TCS CEO S Ramadorai had told DNA Money two weeks back that about 60-70% of the company's clients were seeking repricing negotiations.

About 55% of TCS' contracts are of time & material type and the rest fixed-price contracts.

"This is a neat strategy to tackle two issues. Where prices have been reduced in time & material contracts, TCS can ask clients to also, as a quid pro quo, reduce the number of days in which the contract was agreed to be executed. This will automatically mean more working hours and billings per employee," said an analyst, who did not wish to be named.

"In the case of fixed-price contracts, it is simpler: it is up to TCS to execute the project as efficiently as possible. So squeezing more out of staff will certainly help margins," the analyst said.

"Larger clients are unlikely to accept more working hours but smaller, new clients are open to 9-hour-a-day per worker deals," the analyst said.

TCS has roughly 130,000 employees and a utilisation rate of around 77%. Meaning, more than three-fourths of its staff -- or over 100,000 personnel -- are gainfully employed at any given point in time.

Theoretically, a 10% increase in working hours has the potential to add half-a-million billable hours for TCS alone, considering that 55% of its contracts are the time & material type.

Analysts said TCS' pipeline of projects is pretty strong with about $1.5 billion of them going for ramp-ups in June 2009.

"Quicker execution cycles will help TCS deploy staff more efficiently," said Nitin Padmanabhan, IT analyst with Centrum Broking.

Another analyst with a domestic institutional brokerage, who did not wish to be named, said the flipside to this strategy is that utilisation rates will come down since contracts will be executed faster, although it will end up improving staff efficiency.

"And if utilisation rates fall, then there will be further staggering of fresh employee inductions," he added.

Obama - Address to the Congress

Madame Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, and the First Lady of the United States:

I've come here tonight not only to address the distinguished men and women in this great chamber, but to speak frankly and directly to the men and women who sent us here.

I know that for many Americans watching right now, the state of our economy is a concern that rises above all others. And rightly so. If you haven't been personally affected by this recession, you probably know someone who has - a friend; a neighbor; a member of your family. You don't need to hear another list of statistics to know that our economy is in crisis, because you live it every day. It's the worry you wake up with and the source of sleepless nights. It's the job you thought you'd retire from but now have lost; the business you built your dreams upon that's now hanging by a thread; the college acceptance letter your child had to put back in the envelope. The impact of this recession is real, and it is everywhere.

But while our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken; though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this:

We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.

The weight of this crisis will not determine the destiny of this nation. The answers to our problems don't lie beyond our reach. They exist in our laboratories and universities; in our fields and our factories; in the imaginations of our entrepreneurs and the pride of the hardest-working people on Earth. Those qualities that have made America the greatest force of progress and prosperity in human history we still possess in ample measure. What is required now is for this country to pull together, confront boldly the challenges we face, and take responsibility for our future once more.

Now, if we're honest with ourselves, we'll admit that for too long, we have not always met these responsibilities - as a government or as a people. I say this not to lay blame or look backwards, but because it is only by understanding how we arrived at this moment that we'll be able to lift ourselves out of this predicament.

The fact is, our economy did not fall into decline overnight. Nor did all of our problems begin when the housing market collapsed or the stock market sank. We have known for decades that our survival depends on finding new sources of energy. Yet we import more oil today than ever before. The cost of health care eats up more and more of our savings each year, yet we keep delaying reform. Our children will compete for jobs in a global economy that too many of our schools do not prepare them for. And though all these challenges went unsolved, we still managed to spend more money and pile up more debt, both as individuals and through our government, than ever before.

In other words, we have lived through an era where too often, short-term gains were prized over long-term prosperity; where we failed to look beyond the next payment, the next quarter, or the next election. A surplus became an excuse to transfer wealth to the wealthy instead of an opportunity to invest in our future. Regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market. People bought homes they knew they couldn't afford from banks and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway. And all the while, critical debates and difficult decisions were put off for some other time on some other day.

Well that day of reckoning has arrived, and the time to take charge of our future is here.

Now is the time to act boldly and wisely - to not only revive this economy, but to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity. Now is the time to jumpstart job creation, re-start lending, and invest in areas like energy, health care, and education that will grow our economy, even as we make hard choices to bring our deficit down. That is what my economic agenda is designed to do, and that's what I'd like to talk to you about tonight.

It's an agenda that begins with jobs.
As soon as I took office, I asked this Congress to send me a recovery plan by President's Day that would put people back to work and put money in their pockets. Not because I believe in bigger government - I don't. Not because I'm not mindful of the massive debt we've inherited - I am. I called for action because the failure to do so would have cost more jobs and caused more hardships. In fact, a failure to act would have worsened our long-term deficit by assuring weak economic growth for years. That's why I pushed for quick action. And tonight, I am grateful that this Congress delivered, and pleased to say that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is now law.

Over the next two years, this plan will save or create 3.5 million jobs. More than 90% of these jobs will be in the private sector - jobs rebuilding our roads and bridges; constructing wind turbines and solar panels; laying broadband and expanding mass transit.

Because of this plan, there are teachers who can now keep their jobs and educate our kids. Health care professionals can continue caring for our sick. There are 57 police officers who are still on the streets of Minneapolis tonight because this plan prevented the layoffs their department was about to make.

Because of this plan, 95% of the working households in America will receive a tax cut - a tax cut that you will see in your paychecks beginning on April 1st.
Because of this plan, families who are struggling to pay tuition costs will receive a $2,500 tax credit for all four years of college. And Americans who have lost their jobs in this recession will be able to receive extended unemployment benefits and continued health care coverage to help them weather this storm.

I know there are some in this chamber and watching at home who are skeptical of whether this plan will work. I understand that skepticism. Here in Washington, we've all seen how quickly good intentions can turn into broken promises and wasteful spending. And with a plan of this scale comes enormous responsibility to get it right.

That is why I have asked Vice President Biden to lead a tough, unprecedented oversight effort - because nobody messes with Joe. I have told each member of my Cabinet as well as mayors and governors across the country that they will be held accountable by me and the American people for every dollar they spend. I have appointed a proven and aggressive Inspector General to ferret out any and all cases of waste and fraud. And we have created a new website called so that every American can find out how and where their money is being spent.

So the recovery plan we passed is the first step in getting our economy back on track. But it is just the first step. Because even if we manage this plan flawlessly, there will be no real recovery unless we clean up the credit crisis that has severely weakened our financial system.

I want to speak plainly and candidly about this issue tonight, because every American should know that it directly affects you and your family's well-being. You should also know that the money you've deposited in banks across the country is safe; your insurance is secure; and you can rely on the continued operation of our financial system. That is not the source of concern.

The concern is that if we do not re-start lending in this country, our recovery will be choked off before it even begins.

You see, the flow of credit is the lifeblood of our economy. The ability to get a loan is how you finance the purchase of everything from a home to a car to a college education; how stores stock their shelves, farms buy equipment, and businesses make payroll.

But credit has stopped flowing the way it should. Too many bad loans from the housing crisis have made their way onto the books of too many banks. With so much debt and so little confidence, these banks are now fearful of lending out any more money to households, to businesses, or to each other. When there is no lending, families can't afford to buy homes or cars. So businesses are forced to make layoffs. Our economy suffers even more, and credit dries up even further.

That is why this administration is moving swiftly and aggressively to break this destructive cycle, restore confidence, and re-start lending.

We will do so in several ways. First, we are creating a new lending fund that represents the largest effort ever to help provide auto loans, college loans, and small business loans to the consumers and entrepreneurs who keep this economy running.

Second, we have launched a housing plan that will help responsible families facing the threat of foreclosure lower their monthly payments and re-finance their mortgages. It's a plan that won't help speculators or that neighbor down the street who bought a house he could never hope to afford, but it will help millions of Americans who are struggling with declining home values - Americans who will now be able to take advantage of the lower interest rates that this plan has already helped bring about. In fact, the average family who re-finances today can save nearly $2000 per year on their mortgage.

Third, we will act with the full force of the federal government to ensure that the major banks that Americans depend on have enough confidence and enough money to lend even in more difficult times. And when we learn that a major bank has serious problems, we will hold accountable those responsible, force the necessary adjustments, provide the support to clean up their balance sheets, and assure the continuity of a strong, viable institution that can serve our people and our economy.

I understand that on any given day, Wall Street may be more comforted by an approach that gives banks bailouts with no strings attached, and that holds nobody accountable for their reckless decisions. But such an approach won't solve the problem. And our goal is to quicken the day when we re-start lending to the American people and American business and end this crisis once and for all.

I intend to hold these banks fully accountable for the assistance they receive, and this time, they will have to clearly demonstrate how taxpayer dollars result in more lending for the American taxpayer. This time, CEOs won't be able to use taxpayer money to pad their paychecks or buy fancy drapes or disappear on a private jet. Those days are over.
Still, this plan will require significant resources from the federal government - and yes, probably more than we've already set aside. But while the cost of action will be great, I can assure you that the cost of inaction will be far greater, for it could result in an economy that sputters along for not months or years, but perhaps a decade. That would be worse for our deficit, worse for business, worse for you, and worse for the next generation. And I refuse to let that happen.

I understand that when the last administration asked this Congress to provide assistance for struggling banks, Democrats and Republicans alike were infuriated by the mismanagement and results that followed. So were the American taxpayers. So was I.

So I know how unpopular it is to be seen as helping banks right now, especially when everyone is suffering in part from their bad decisions. I promise you - I get it.
But I also know that in a time of crisis, we cannot afford to govern out of anger, or yield to the politics of the moment. My job - our job - is to solve the problem. Our job is to govern with a sense of responsibility. I will not spend a single penny for the purpose of rewarding a single Wall Street executive, but I will do whatever it takes to help the small business that can't pay its workers or the family that has saved and still can't get a mortgage.

That's what this is about. It's not about helping banks - it's about helping people. Because when credit is available again, that young family can finally buy a new home. And then some company will hire workers to build it. And then those workers will have money to spend, and if they can get a loan too, maybe they'll finally buy that car, or open their own business. Investors will return to the market, and American families will see their retirement secured once more. Slowly, but surely, confidence will return, and our economy will recover.

So I ask this Congress to join me in doing whatever proves necessary. Because we cannot consign our nation to an open-ended recession. And to ensure that a crisis of this magnitude never happens again, I ask Congress to move quickly on legislation that will finally reform our outdated regulatory system. It is time to put in place tough, new common-sense rules of the road so that our financial market rewards drive and innovation, and punishes short-cuts and abuse.
The recovery plan and the financial stability plan are the immediate steps we're taking to revive our economy in the short-term. But the only way to fully restore America's economic strength is to make the long-term investments that will lead to new jobs, new industries, and a renewed ability to compete with the rest of the world. The only way this century will be another American century is if we confront at last the price of our dependence on oil and the high cost of health care; the schools that aren't preparing our children and the mountain of debt they stand to inherit. That is our responsibility.
In the next few days, I will submit a budget to Congress. So often, we have come to view these documents as simply numbers on a page or laundry lists of programs. I see this document differently. I see it as a vision for America - as a blueprint for our future.
My budget does not attempt to solve every problem or address every issue. It reflects the stark reality of what we've inherited - a trillion dollar deficit, a financial crisis, and a costly recession.
Given these realities, everyone in this chamber - Democrats and Republicans - will have to sacrifice some worthy priorities for which there are no dollars. And that includes me.
But that does not mean we can afford to ignore our long-term challenges. I reject the view that says our problems will simply take care of themselves; that says government has no role in laying the foundation for our common prosperity.
For history tells a different story. History reminds us that at every moment of economic upheaval and transformation, this nation has responded with bold action and big ideas. In the midst of civil war, we laid railroad tracks from one coast to another that spurred commerce and industry. From the turmoil of the Industrial Revolution came a system of public high schools that prepared our citizens for a new age. In the wake of war and depression, the GI Bill sent a generation to college and created the largest middle-class in history. And a twilight struggle for freedom led to a nation of highways, an American on the moon, and an explosion of technology that still shapes our world.
In each case, government didn't supplant private enterprise; it catalyzed private enterprise. It created the conditions for thousands of entrepreneurs and new businesses to adapt and to thrive.
We are a nation that has seen promise amid peril, and claimed opportunity from ordeal. Now we must be that nation again. That is why, even as it cuts back on the programs we don't need, the budget I submit will invest in the three areas that are absolutely critical to our economic future: energy, health care, and education.
It begins with energy.
We know the country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century. And yet, it is China that has launched the largest effort in history to make their economy energy efficient. We invented solar technology, but we've fallen behind countries like Germany and Japan in producing it. New plug-in hybrids roll off our assembly lines, but they will run on batteries made in Korea.
Well I do not accept a future where the jobs and industries of tomorrow take root beyond our borders - and I know you don't either. It is time for America to lead again.

Thanks to our recovery plan, we will double this nation's supply of renewable energy in the next three years. We have also made the largest investment in basic research funding in American history - an investment that will spur not only new discoveries in energy, but breakthroughs in medicine, science, and technology.

We will soon lay down thousands of miles of power lines that can carry new energy to cities and towns across this country. And we will put Americans to work making our homes and buildings more efficient so that we can save billions of dollars on our energy bills.

But to truly transform our economy, protect our security, and save our planet from the ravages of climate change, we need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy. So I ask this Congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America. And to support that innovation, we will invest fifteen billion dollars a year to develop technologies like wind power and solar power; advanced biofuels, clean coal, and more fuel-efficient cars and trucks built right here in America.

As for our auto industry, everyone recognizes that years of bad decision-making and a global recession have pushed our automakers to the brink. We should not, and will not, protect them from their own bad practices. But we are committed to the goal of a re-tooled, re-imagined auto industry that can compete and win. Millions of jobs depend on it. Scores of communities depend on it. And I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it.

None of this will come without cost, nor will it be easy. But this is America. We don't do what's easy. We do what is necessary to move this country forward.
For that same reason, we must also address the crushing cost of health care.

This is a cost that now causes a bankruptcy in America every thirty seconds. By the end of the year, it could cause 1.5 million Americans to lose their homes. In the last eight years, premiums have grown four times faster than wages. And in each of these years, one million more Americans have lost their health insurance. It is one of the major reasons why small businesses close their doors and corporations ship jobs overseas. And it's one of the largest and fastest-growing parts of our budget.
Given these facts, we can no longer afford to put health care reform on hold.

Already, we have done more to advance the cause of health care reform in the last thirty days than we have in the last decade. When it was days old, this Congress passed a law to provide and protect health insurance for eleven million American children whose parents work full-time. Our recovery plan will invest in electronic health records and new technology that will reduce errors, bring down costs, ensure privacy, and save lives. It will launch a new effort to conquer a disease that has touched the life of nearly every American by seeking a cure for cancer in our time. And it makes the largest investment ever in preventive care, because that is one of the best ways to keep our people healthy and our costs under control.

This budget builds on these reforms. It includes an historic commitment to comprehensive health care reform - a down-payment on the principle that we must have quality, affordable health care for every American. It's a commitment that's paid for in part by efficiencies in our system that are long overdue. And it's a step we must take if we hope to bring down our deficit in the years to come.

Now, there will be many different opinions and ideas about how to achieve reform, and that is why I'm bringing together businesses and workers, doctors and health care providers, Democrats and Republicans to begin work on this issue next week.

I suffer no illusions that this will be an easy process. It will be hard. But I also know that nearly a century after Teddy Roosevelt first called for reform, the cost of our health care has weighed down our economy and the conscience of our nation long enough. So let there be no doubt: health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year.

The third challenge we must address is the urgent need to expand the promise of education in America.

In a global economy where the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge, a good education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity - it is a pre-requisite.
Right now, three-quarters of the fastest-growing occupations require more than a high school diploma. And yet, just over half of our citizens have that level of education. We have one of the highest high school dropout rates of any industrialized nation. And half of the students who begin college never finish.

This is a prescription for economic decline, because we know the countries that out-teach us today will out-compete us tomorrow. That is why it will be the goal of this administration to ensure that every child has access to a complete and competitive education - from the day they are born to the day they begin a career.

Already, we have made an historic investment in education through the economic recovery plan. We have dramatically expanded early childhood education and will continue to improve its quality, because we know that the most formative learning comes in those first years of life. We have made college affordable for nearly seven million more students. And we have provided the resources necessary to prevent painful cuts and teacher layoffs that would set back our children's progress.

But we know that our schools don't just need more resources. They need more reform. That is why this budget creates new incentives for teacher performance; pathways for advancement, and rewards for success. We'll invest in innovative programs that are already helping schools meet high standards and close achievement gaps. And we will expand our commitment to charter schools.

It is our responsibility as lawmakers and educators to make this system work. But it is the responsibility of every citizen to participate in it. And so tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma. And dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It's not just quitting on yourself, it's quitting on your country - and this country needs and values the talents of every American. That is why we will provide the support necessary for you to complete college and meet a new goal: by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

I know that the price of tuition is higher than ever, which is why if you are willing to volunteer in your neighborhood or give back to your community or serve your country, we will make sure that you can afford a higher education. And to encourage a renewed spirit of national service for this and future generations, I ask this Congress to send me the bipartisan legislation that bears the name of Senator Orrin Hatch as well as an American who has never stopped asking what he can do for his country - Senator Edward Kennedy.

These education policies will open the doors of opportunity for our children. But it is up to us to ensure they walk through them. In the end, there is no program or policy that can substitute for a mother or father who will attend those parent/teacher conferences, or help with homework after dinner, or turn off the TV, put away the video games, and read to their child. I speak to you not just as a President, but as a father when I say that responsibility for our children's education must begin at home.

There is, of course, another responsibility we have to our children. And that is the responsibility to ensure that we do not pass on to them a debt they cannot pay. With the deficit we inherited, the cost of the crisis we face, and the long-term challenges we must meet, it has never been more important to ensure that as our economy recovers, we do what it takes to bring this deficit down.

I'm proud that we passed the recovery plan free of earmarks, and I want to pass a budget next year that ensures that each dollar we spend reflects only our most important national priorities.

Yesterday, I held a fiscal summit where I pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term in office. My administration has also begun to go line by line through the federal budget in order to eliminate wasteful and ineffective programs. As you can imagine, this is a process that will take some time. But we're starting with the biggest lines. We have already identified two trillion dollars in savings over the next decade.

In this budget, we will end education programs that don't work and end direct payments to large agribusinesses that don't need them. We'll eliminate the no-bid contracts that have wasted billions in Iraq, and reform our defense budget so that we're not paying for Cold War-era weapons systems we don't use. We will root out the waste, fraud, and abuse in our Medicare program that doesn't make our seniors any healthier, and we will restore a sense of fairness and balance to our tax code by finally ending the tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas.

In order to save our children from a future of debt, we will also end the tax breaks for the wealthiest 2% of Americans. But let me perfectly clear, because I know you'll hear the same old claims that rolling back these tax breaks means a massive tax increase on the American people: if your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime. I repeat: not one single dime. In fact, the recovery plan provides a tax cut - that's right, a tax cut - for 95% of working families. And these checks are on the way.

To preserve our long-term fiscal health, we must also address the growing costs in Medicare and Social Security. Comprehensive health care reform is the best way to strengthen Medicare for years to come. And we must also begin a conversation on how to do the same for Social Security, while creating tax-free universal savings accounts for all Americans.

Finally, because we're also suffering from a deficit of trust, I am committed to restoring a sense of honesty and accountability to our budget. That is why this budget looks ahead ten years and accounts for spending that was left out under the old rules - and for the first time, that includes the full cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. For seven years, we have been a nation at war. No longer will we hide its price.

We are now carefully reviewing our policies in both wars, and I will soon announce a way forward in Iraq that leaves Iraq to its people and responsibly ends this war. And with our friends and allies, we will forge a new and comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan to defeat al Qaeda and combat extremism. Because I will not allow terrorists to plot against the American people from safe havens half a world away.

As we meet here tonight, our men and women in uniform stand watch abroad and more are readying to deploy. To each and every one of them, and to the families who bear the quiet burden of their absence, Americans are united in sending one message: we honor your service, we are inspired by your sacrifice, and you have our unyielding support. To relieve the strain on our forces, my budget increases the number of our soldiers and Marines. And to keep our sacred trust with those who serve, we will raise their pay, and give our veterans the expanded health care and benefits that they have earned.

To overcome extremism, we must also be vigilant in upholding the values our troops defend - because there is no force in the world more powerful than the example of America. That is why I have ordered the closing of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, and will seek swift and certain justice for captured terrorists - because living our values doesn't make us weaker, it makes us safer and it makes us stronger. And that is why I can stand here tonight and say without exception or equivocation that the United States of America does not torture.

In words and deeds, we are showing the world that a new era of engagement has begun. For we know that America cannot meet the threats of this century alone, but the world cannot meet them without America. We cannot shun the negotiating table, nor ignore the foes or forces that could do us harm. We are instead called to move forward with the sense of confidence and candor that serious times demand.

To seek progress toward a secure and lasting peace between Israel and her neighbors, we have appointed an envoy to sustain our effort. To meet the challenges of the 21st century - from terrorism to nuclear proliferation; from pandemic disease to cyber threats to crushing poverty - we will strengthen old alliances, forge new ones, and use all elements of our national power.

And to respond to an economic crisis that is global in scope, we are working with the nations of the G-20 to restore confidence in our financial system, avoid the possibility of escalating protectionism, and spur demand for American goods in markets across the globe. For the world depends on us to have a strong economy, just as our economy depends on the strength of the world's.

As we stand at this crossroads of history, the eyes of all people in all nations are once again upon us - watching to see what we do with this moment; waiting for us to lead.
Those of us gathered here tonight have been called to govern in extraordinary times. It is a tremendous burden, but also a great privilege - one that has been entrusted to few generations of Americans. For in our hands lies the ability to shape our world for good or for ill.

I know that it is easy to lose sight of this truth - to become cynical and doubtful; consumed with the petty and the trivial.

But in my life, I have also learned that hope is found in unlikely places; that inspiration often comes not from those with the most power or celebrity, but from the dreams and aspirations of Americans who are anything but ordinary.

I think about Leonard Abess, the bank president from Miami who reportedly cashed out of his company, took a $60 million bonus, and gave it out to all 399 people who worked for him, plus another 72 who used to work for him. He didn't tell anyone, but when the local newspaper found out, he simply said, ''I knew some of these people since I was 7 years old. I didn't feel right getting the money myself."

I think about Greensburg, Kansas, a town that was completely destroyed by a tornado, but is being rebuilt by its residents as a global example of how clean energy can power an entire community - how it can bring jobs and businesses to a place where piles of bricks and rubble once lay. "The tragedy was terrible," said one of the men who helped them rebuild. "But the folks here know that it also provided an incredible opportunity."

And I think about Ty'Sheoma Bethea, the young girl from that school I visited in Dillon, South Carolina - a place where the ceilings leak, the paint peels off the walls, and they have to stop teaching six times a day because the train barrels by their classroom. She has been told that her school is hopeless, but the other day after class she went to the public library and typed up a letter to the people sitting in this room. She even asked her principal for the money to buy a stamp. The letter asks us for help, and says, "We are just students trying to become lawyers, doctors, congressmen like yourself and one day president, so we can make a change to not just the state of South Carolina but also the world. We are not quitters."

We are not quitters.
These words and these stories tell us something about the spirit of the people who sent us here. They tell us that even in the most trying times, amid the most difficult circumstances, there is a generosity, a resilience, a decency, and a determination that perseveres; a willingness to take responsibility for our future and for posterity.
Their resolve must be our inspiration. Their concerns must be our cause. And we must show them and all our people that we are equal to the task before us.

I know that we haven't agreed on every issue thus far, and there are surely times in the future when we will part ways. But I also know that every American who is sitting here tonight loves this country and wants it to succeed. That must be the starting point for every debate we have in the coming months, and where we return after those debates are done. That is the foundation on which the American people expect us to build common ground.

And if we do - if we come together and lift this nation from the depths of this crisis; if we put our people back to work and restart the engine of our prosperity; if we confront without fear the challenges of our time and summon that enduring spirit of an America that does not quit, then someday years from now our children can tell their children that this was the time when we performed, in the words that are carved into this very chamber, "something worthy to be remembered." Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

Daily News Roundup - Feb 25 2009

SEBI may allow Satyam Computer to issue preferential shares to a strategic investor at a lower price. (ET)

Hiduja group is interested in acquiring 51% stake in Satyam Computer. (ET)

Satyam Computers likely to decide on strategic investor in three weeks. (FE)

SBI plans to tap the retail bond market to raise Rs30-40bn. (ET)

DLF cuts prices in its ongoing projects in Chennai and Bangalore by 20-30%. (ET)

Reliance Industries may shut part of its Jamnagar refinery in April or May. (FE)

Reliance Power, Torrent Power and two other companies have bid for UPCC’s power distribution. (FE)

Unitech has sold its 200 room budget hotel in Gurgaon for around Rs2.3bn. (BS)

L&T bags orders worth Rs14.4bn. (BL)

IOC, HPCL and BPCL have shelved plans to invest in sugarcane farms in Brazil. (BS)

GMR Infra may soon acquire Indonesian coal mine. (BL)

Sun Pharma may hike its offer for Taro Pharmaceuticals US$9.5 a share. (ET)

Cipla has filed grant opposition in Kolkatta patent office against GSK’s cancer drug. (ET)

Dr Reddy’s Lab is scaling back its non-US global operations. (ET)

Dr Reddy’s Lab, GSK Pharma and Alkem Labs are among 39 drug firms under NPPA scanner for overcharging. (BL)

M&M agri arm has entered into a strategic alliance with Dutch Co HZPC. (ET)

Jet Airways to lease out four aircrafts to Gulf Air Company GSC Bahrain. (BL)

HCL Tech lays off 450 employees at its Delhi and Bangalore offices. (ET)

MRF’s Puducherry plant is under lockout following labour unrest. (ET)

BEML expects revenue of Rs10bn from its railway business in the next fiscal year. (BS)

Monnet Ispat and Power has joined the race for Orissa Sponge by acquiring 27% stake in the company. (BS)

Mastek is scouting for US partner for its EDM solution business. (BL)

Excise duty rates on all products have been cut to 8% from 10%. (ET)

Service tax has been reduced by 2% across the board to 10%. (ET)

Duty cuts announced in previous stimulus packages along with the new duty cuts would be extended beyond March 31, 2009. (ET)

S&P cuts its outlook on India’s long term sovereign credit rating to negative from stable. (ET)

Government is planning to increase SMP of sugarcane substantially for 2009-10. (BS)

We will recover

"The way to deal with these short-term problems is to jump in to the long-term" problems.

‘We will recover,’ said US President Barack Obama minutes ago in his first speech to a joint session of Congress. And that holds true even for our market. Spend India Spend, is what the UPA government seems to be telling, with its parting gift. There is scope for a brief rally if India Inc passes on the benefit of cuts announced by the government. The RBI’s much-anticipated rate cuts will provide a temporary booster too.

Today, we expect the market to continue Tuesday’s pull-back, as global markets are in buoyant mood. US stocks rallied overnight after Monday mayhem. But, European indices fell for a fifth session in a row. Asian markets are up 1-3% this morning.

The new stimulus plan doesn’t guarantee an immediate rebound in economic activity and partly hinges on the recovery in key global economies. Better late than never, that’s what we would like to call the rather belated announcement on the latest fiscal booster shot.

The S&P has cut its outlook on India’s sovereign ratings citing the mess in public finance. However, given the current dire economic environment, the government has very little choice. At the same time, one shouldn’t completely overlook the deteriorating fiscal situation.

US stocks rallied on Tuesday, reversing the previous day's sharp losses, after Federal Reserve Ben S. Bernanke allayed mounting fears over a possible bank nationalisation plan by the Obama administration.

Not surprisingly, the financial shares were among the biggest gainers, a day after the main indices fell to 12-year lows. Housing, retail, technology and energy shares too were among the big gainers.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 236 points, or 3.3%, to 7,350.94, its best day on a point basis in over a month. The Dow had ended Monday's session at the lowest point since May 7, 1997.

The S&P 500 index rose almost 30 points, or 4%, to 773.14 after ending the previous session at the lowest point since April 11, 1997.

The Nasdaq Composite index surged 54 points, or 3.9%, to 1,441.83 after ending the previous session at a three-month low. The Nasdaq has held up better than the broader market this year.

US stocks have tumbled for the last few weeks on worries that not even the many stimulus plans and bank relief packages will be sufficient to slow the recession. The declines left the Dow and S&P 500 at almost 12-year lows.

But, on Tuesday comments from Bernanke helped sustain advance, after the Fed chairman sought to downplay fears that the government was considering taking over struggling banks. Investors have been nervous that banks will have to be nationalised, which would wipe out all shareholder value.

At the same time, the market brushed aside the rest of the Fed chief's more dour congressional testimony, including his assertion that the recovery will take more than two or three years. Bernanke spoke before the Senate Banking Committee as part of his two-day semi-annual testimony on Capitol Hill. On Wednesday, he will address the House Financial Services Committee.

President Barack Obama was scheduled to address both chambers of Congress, discussing the economy, the $787bnstimulus package and his goal to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term.

In the day's economic news, the S&P Case-Shiller National Home Price index plunged 18.2% in the fourth quarter versus a year ago, the biggest quarterly drop in the index's 21-year history. A monthly measure of 20 major metropolitan areas fell 18.55% in December versus a year ago, also a record.

The Conference Board's February Consumer Confidence index plunged to an all-time low, falling to 25 in the month from a revised 37.4 in January. The reading is the lowest since the Conference Board began tracking the index in 1967.

In company news, Home Depot reported weaker quarterly earnings that beat estimates, providing reassurance that some retailers are weathering the recession. But the home improvement retailer also said it plans to open fewer new stores in 2009 and that profit will fall for the third straight year due to the housing market collapse and the recession. Shares gained 10.5%.

Target reported weaker quarterly earnings that missed analysts' expectations. The retailer has suffered amid the economic downturn, with customers buying staples like food and cleaning supplies and eschewing pricier items like clothing and home decor. Shares fell 2%.

JPMorgan Chase said late on Monday that it was cutting its dividend by 87% to 5 cents per share, a move that it says will save it $5bn a year. Shares gained 7.7%.

Citigroup stock has been rising on reports that it will soon announce a deal with Treasury that would give the government a 40% stake in the bank. The Financial Times said on Tuesday that a deal could be announced as soon as Wednesday.

Treasury prices slipped, raising the yield on the benchmark 10-year note to 2.76% from 2.75% on Monday. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

US light crude oil for April delivery rose $1.52 to settle at $39.96 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

In currency trading, the dollar fell versus the euro and gained against the yen. COMEX gold for April delivery fell $24.50 to settle at $970.50 an ounce.

European shares fell for the seventh time in nine sessions on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Stoxx 600 index declined 1.4% to 172.86.

The losses came as risk aversion and the weight of a global recession drove a broad sell-off that pushed U.S. stock indexes to levels not seen in more than a decade on Monday.

Germany's DAX 30 index lost 1% to 3,895.75, while the French CAC-40 index declined 0.7% to 2,708.05 and the UK's FTSE 100 index gave up 0.9% to 3,816.44.

Weak global cues dragged the Indian bourses to open with a negative gap. From there on markets were on a constant upswing. However, Standard & Poor’s announcement that it cut India’s credit rating outlook to negative from stable dampened the sentiments on Dalal Street.

But as the day progressed, the government decision of reducing central excise duty to 8% from 10% and extending excise cuts beyond March 31, 2009 saw the Indian bourses staging a smart come back. Finally, the BSE Sensex slipped 21 points to close at 8,822 and the NSE Nifty was flat at 2,733.

ONGC would review the viability of setting up a refinery in Rajasthan state, the government said.

The company would discuss with the state government regarding the fiscal incentives needed to make a refinery at Barmer, said the junior oil minister in the parliament. The feasibility and cost estimate of the project would depend on incentives from the state government, the minister said.

Shares of ONGC gained by a percent to Rs680. The scrip touched an intra-day high of Rs686 and a low of Rs656 and recorded volumes of over 1,00,000 shares on BSE.

Satyam Computer’s chairman, Kiran Karnik announced that they aim to start the stake sale process this week by inviting expressions of interest from potential investors once the company receives regulatory approval.

Satyam had earlier confirmed that it is back to its winning ways, riding on the relentless efforts of the newly constituted Board to restore stakeholder confidence and ensure business continuity. The stock down 3% to Rs43.9 after hitting an intra-day high of Rs47 and a low of Rs43 and recorded volumes of over 82,00,000 shares on BSE.

Shares of Hindustan Oil Exploration gained by 0.5% to Rs57.5 after the company announced that it entered into a loan Agreement with Eni Coordination Centre, S.A., Brussels (ECC) for availing a US Dollar denominated Term Loan by way of External Commercial Borrowing amounting to US$125mn to part finance the various development activities of the company including PY-1 Field. The scrip touched an intra-day high of Rs59 and a low of Rs55 and recorded volumes of over 6,00,000 shares on BSE.

Subhash Projects announced that it received a work order construction of "25 MGD Effluent Pumping Station at Rithala STP including P/L/J twin transmission mains for carrying 33.34 MGD treated effluent from EPS at Rithala to PPCL Plant at Bawana, on Design, Build and Operate (DBO) basis". The stock was down 5% to Rs39.1 after the scrip touched an intra-day high of Rs44 and a low of Rs38 and recorded volumes of over 51,000 shares on BSE.

Life Insurance Corp of India acquired ~22.8mn equity shares of ICICI Bank and increased its stake from 7.34% to 9.38%.

Shares of ICICI Bank erased early losses and ended flat at Rs335. The stock hit an intra-day high of Rs340 and a low of Rs318 and recorded volumes of over 49,00,000 shares on BSE.

Shares of Hotel Leela advanced by 0.3% to Rs18.1 after the company announced that it repurchased US$30mn of bonds. The scrip touched an intra-day high of Rs19.9 and a low of Rs17.3 and recorded volumes of over 4,00,000 shares on BSE.

India Consumer

India Consumer

Balrampur Chini Ltd

Balrampur Chini


We recommend a sell in Steel Authority of India Ltd stock from a short-term trading perspective. It is clearly visible from the charts of SAIL that it was on an intermediate-term uptrend from its 52-week low of Rs 55 recorded in late November till it encountered resistance in the band between Rs 92 and Rs 97 in mid-February. The stock reversed direction at this resistance level, with the formation of a bearish engulfing candlestick pattern.

The stock has been on a short-term down trend from this resistance level. While declining, the stock conclusively breached its 21- and 50-day moving averages which are positioned at Rs 81. Moreover on February 24, the stock penetrated its intermediate-term down trend-line by tumbling 4 per cent, accompanied with above average volume. Both daily and weekly relative strength indices (RSI) are on the brink of entering the bearish zone from the neutral region.

The daily moving average convergence and divergence indicator is signalling a sell. We are bearish on this stock from a short-term perspective. We expect the stock’s decline to continue until it hits our price target of Rs 68 in the forthcoming trading sessions. Traders with short-term perspective can sell the stock while maintaining a stop-loss at Rs 80.

RIL, ICICI Bank February 2009 futures at premium

Turnover rises

Nifty February 2009 futures were at 2726, at a discount of 7.90 points as compared to the spot closing of 2733.90. Turnover in NSE's futures & options (F&O) segment rose to Rs 45,693.52 crore from Rs 43,149.65 crore on Friday, 20 February 2009. The near-month February 2009 derivatives contract will expire on Thursday, 26 February 2009.

Reliance Industries (RIL) February 2009 futures were at premium at 1257.85 compared to the spot closing of 1253.25.

ICICI Bank February 2009 futures were at premium at 337.20 compared to the spot closing of 335.95.

State Bank of India February 2009 futures were at discount at 1026.20 compared to the spot closing of 1027.80.

In the cash market, the S&P CNX Nifty lost 2.55 points or 0.09% at 2733.90.

Bullion metals turn paler

Gold and silver prices drop for second consecutive day

Bullion metal prices ended lower for second straight day on Tuesday, 24 February, 2009. The drop in prices was mainly due to selling by traders who booked profits after gold's surge in past couple of days. Deep recession fears have been increasing the appeal of the precious metals as a safe haven against alternatives since past few days.

Generally, a stronger dollar pressures demand for dollar-denominated commodities, such as crude oil and gold, which become more expensive for holders of other currencies and also vice versa.

On Tuesday, Comex Gold for April delivery fell $25.5 (2.6%) to close at $969.1 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Last week, gold ended roughly higher by 5.5%. For January, 2009, gold had gained 3.9%. Year to date, gold prices are higher by 11.4%.

On 17 March, 2008 prices had skyrocketed to a high of $1,034/ounce. But prices have dropped significantly (6%) since then.

On Wednesday, Comex silver futures for March delivery fell 45.5 cents (3.1%) to end at $13.995 an ounce. Year to date, silver has climbed 25.1% this year. For 2008, silver had lost 24%.

The World Gold Council reported last week that demand for gold surpassed $100 billion last year for the first time ever, amid increased industrial and jewelry consumption and investors' purchase of the metal as a safe haven. Gold demand - including jewelry consumption, industrial demand and identifiable investments such as bars, coins and gold exchange-traded funds - hit $102 billion in 2008, up 29% from a year ago. In tonnage terms, gold demand rose 4% to 3,659 tons.

In 2008, gold prices ended higher by 5.5%. The dollar index had gained 12% that year.

Last year, the weakening dollar and higher global demand for raw materials had led to records for commodities including gold. Gold reached a record in March 2008 as a U.S. housing slump and credit crisis spurred the Federal Reserve to slash borrowing costs. In the last move, the Federal Reserve has cuts its target bank lending rate to 0.25% from 5.25% in September, 2007. The Fed did it in nine steps.

Prior to 2008, gold had witnessed the greatest annual gain in twenty eight years by gaining $200/ounce (31%) in FY 2007 as lower interest rates had sent the dollar tumbling, and crude-oil prices rose to a record. Silver had climbed 16% in FY 2007. In 2006, silver had jumped 46% while gold gained 23%.

At the MCX, gold prices for April delivery closed lower by Rs 404 (2.45%) at Rs 15,484 per 10 grams. Prices rose to a high of Rs 15,897 per 10 grams and fell to a low of Rs 15,355 per 10 grams during the day's trading.

At the MCX, silver prices for March delivery closed Rs 912 (3.9%) lower at Rs 22,689/Kg. Prices opened at Rs 23,460/kg and fell to a low of Rs 22,300/Kg during the day's trading.

Crude glides up

Prices end higher after OPEC hints at another production cut

Oil prices shot up on Tuesday, 24 February, 2009. Prices rose after OPEC spoke about another production cut in coming months. Prices also rose today in synchronization with the rise in stocks at Wall Street.

On Tuesday, crude-oil futures for light sweet crude for April delivery closed at $39.96/barrel (higher by $1.52 or 4%) on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Last week, crude ended higher by 3.8%.

Prices reached a high of $147 on 11 July, 2008 but have dropped almost 74% since then. Year to date, in 2009, crude prices are lower by 7.9%. On a yearly basis, crude prices are lower by 68%.

In Wall Street on Tuesday, US stocks bounced back. Couple of strong earning reports from retailers and news percolating that Microsoft might still be interested in a deal with Yahoo gave US stocks a much needed strong boost today.

Prices had been sliding since past couple of days after fear gripped the US economy that US banks might be nationalized. The gear eased a bit after President Barack Obama said that he is in favour of “privately owned” banks.

OPEC has been trying to cut production consistently in order to step up prices from their current low levels. As per reports during the weekend, Algerian Energy Minister Chakib Khelil said that OPEC is likely to reduce output in March, 2009. OPEC has already agreed to cut cartel quotas by 4.2 million barrels a day since September, equivalent to about 5% of global oil demand. The cartel is supposed to meet on 15 March at Vienna.

Against this background, March reformulated gasoline rose 3.9% to $1.0837 a gallon and March heating oil added 2.8% to $1.2082 a gallon.

Natural gas for March delivery rose 3.3% to stand at $4.236 per million British thermal units.

Recently, Paris based, IEA has reported that this year's global oil demand will fall by 1 million barrels a day, or 1.1%, from last year. If realized, it will be the biggest yearly drop since 1982. The IEA cited a worsening economic outlook across all regions as the reason for the weakness in oil demand.

Crude prices had ended FY 2008 lower by 54%, the largest yearly loss since trading began at Nymex.

At the MCX, crude oil for February delivery closed at Rs 1,932/barrel, lower by Rs 26 (1.3%) against previous day's close. Natural gas for February delivery closed at Rs 205.4/mmbtu, higher by Rs 1.4/mmbtu (0.7%).