BSE Sensex falls 140 points, Nifty down in early trade on profit-booking

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Investors are cautious ahead of the Union Budget scheduled for this month-end. (Reuters) Investors are cautious ahead of the Union Budget scheduled for this month-end. (Reuters)
SummaryInvestors are cautious ahead of the Union Budget scheduled for this month-end.

State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp, along with Bharat Petroleum Corp and Mitsui Group of Japan, will invest about $1 billion (approximately 54 billion rupees) to set up a five-million tonne (mt) liquefied natural gas terminal (LNG) in Mangalore.

* The newly constituted cabinet committee on investment (CCI) granted its first big-ticket approval, clearing the 120 billion rupees North Karanpura power project of NTPC that had been stranded for more than a decade as power and coal ministries bickered over its location.

* Oil and Natural Gas Corp's over 80 billion rupees development of western offshore B-193 cluster fields will be completed this year that will add 28,000 barrels per day to peak oil production.

INFRASTRUCTURE

* Jaiprakash Power Venture raised 9.5 billion rupees in the largest primary issue in the power sector in nearly three years through a qualified institutional placement of shares.

* The Ruia family, promoters of Essar Ports and Essar Shipping, is planning to start offloading their stake in the respective companies in order to comply with the requirement of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) requirement of maximum 75 percent holding in companies, senior company officials told Financial Chronicle.

AVIATION

* The war over air fares intensified with all Indian airlines competing with each other to offer low ticket prices, as Air India also jumped into the fray.

IT

* Wipro is said to be contemplating laying off several hundred people in Wipro Infotech's business solutions division. This is because their work overlaps with those in a similar practice area in Wipro Technologies, three people familiar with the development said.

TELECOMS

* India's two biggest mobile phone operators, Bharti Airtel Ltd and Vodafone India, challenged in court a government move to auction airwaves in a band they already use.

* Asian shares fell and the Australian dollar eased on Thursday as risk sentiment was shaken by talk in global markets overnight that a hedge fund had been liquidating large positions in commodities, as well as worries the Federal Reserve could slow its bond buying programme.

* The US dollar held firm on Thursday, having enjoyed its biggest one-day gain in seven months against a currency basket as commodities and US equities slid on rumours of a hedge fund in trouble.

* Crude oil posted its biggest daily fall so far in 2013 on Wednesday, joining a sell-off in precious metals and copper as market rumours circulated that a hedge fund was forced to liquidate substantial commodity positions.

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