RTTNews - The Indian stock market is likely to lower on Thursday following the weak global cues. Also, Investors may resort to profit taking after five straight sessions of gains. Volatility is likely to remain high as traders roll over positions in the derivatives segment from August 2009 series to September 2009 series, ahead of the expiry of the August contracts today.

The market will keenly watch the foreign trade policy to be announced by the Commerce Minister Anand Sharma today, which is expected to contain sops for labour-intensive sectors.

On Wall Street, stocks finished Wednesday's session little changed, with the day's trading marred by choppy movement despite largely positive news on the economic front. The major averages closed only slightly higher after turning in another lackluster trading session. The Dow closed up by 4.23 points at 9,543.52, the Nasdaq gained 0.20 points to finish at 2024.43 and the S&P 500 rose by 0.12 to 1,028.12.

Crude oil dropped for a second straight day on Wednesday, but came off the lows of the day after earlier hitting below $71. Light sweet crude oil for October delivery fell to $71.43 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 62 cents on the day. Prices had hit as low as $70.67 after hitting a 10-month intraday high of $75 on Tuesday.

The Indian ADRs closed mostly higher on Wednesday. Wipro rose 2.16%, Satyam Computers added 0.92%, Infosys gained 2.62%, Tata Motors added 1.00% and MTNL advanced 0.51%. However, ICICI Bank eased 0.06% and HDFC Bank declined 1.10%.

The rupee closed weaker for a third straight day on Wednesday, ending at 48.86/87 against the U.S. dollar compared to Tuesday's close of 48.75/76, as refiners and importers pumped up dollar-buying to meet month-end import commitments.

Strong buying in IT stocks on the back of better-than-expected U.S. economic data and short covering a day before the expiry of current month derivatives contracts helped the Indian market end higher for the fifth straight session on Wednesday. Mid-cap and small-cap stocks received widespread buying support.

The BSE Sensex moved in a narrow range of 15,831-15,696 before finishing at 15,770, up 81 points or 0.52%, and the S&P CNX Nifty rose 21 points or 0.46% to 4,681.

Stocks to watch:

Cairn India and its partner Oil and Natural Gas Corp, which will this weekend start oil production from their prolific Rajasthan fields, will invest US$ 1.5-1.8 billion more in the desert block over the next two years. Cairn India said that the Mangala field will start producing a few thousand barrels of oil per day from August 29 and gradually ramp up to 30,000 bpd.

Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, or HPCL, will invest Rs 69 billion to upgrade its diesel quality to Euro III and IV. The project would be completed in financial year 2011.

Cipla plans to raise Rs 15 billion either by issuing foreign currency convertible bonds or through global depository receipts to clear its debt as well as finance its capital expenditure. The company said that it has debt of Rs 8 billion and plans to invest Rs 5-6 billion in the next two years.

Biocon expects its branded formulations business in India to double this fiscal year as it launches new products. The company, which makes insulin, cholesterol-lowering statins and other branded drugs, is also talking to companies to license out its oral insulin, the clinical trials of which are expected to end in March next year.

HCL Technologies allotted 5000 secured redeemable non-convertible debentures, or NCDs of face value of Rs 10,00,000 each at par aggregating to Rs 5 billion.

Infosys Technologies will manage and operate a large portion of business systems for BP, one of the world's largest oil and gas companies, under the terms of a five year applications outsourcing and support agreement.

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