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A Dull Start to the New Year
Fri, 1 Jan Closing

Indian equity markets began the day's proceedings on a cautious note and witnessed a choppy trade as the indices slipped into the red in the afternoon session. However, buying activity picked up towards the end with the benchmark index closing just above the dotted line. The BSE Sensex closed higher by 44 points, while the NSE Nifty closed higher by 17 points. Midcaps and Small caps too finished on a buoyant note. The S&P BSE Mid Cap index and the S&P BSE Small Cap index closed the day with gains of 0.9% each. Gains were largely seen in realty and capital goods' stocks.

Majority of the international markets finished on a bleak note yesterday. North and South American markets finished lower with shares in U.S. leading the region. The Dow Jones Industrial average was down 1%. The rupee was trading strong at 66.18 against the US$ in the afternoon session.

Shares of Maruti Suzuki finished the day on an optimistic note after the company reported a rise of 8.5% year on year (YoY) in its total car sales (Domestic + Export) for the month of December 2015 at 119,149 units, as against 109,791 units in 2014. The company's domestic sales rose by 13.5% YoY in December 2015 at 111,333 units, as against 98,109 units in corresponding month last year.

Of the total, the company has sold 91,043 units of its passenger cars during last month, up by 11.6% as against 81,564 units in 2014. Moreover, the company's sales of its utility vehicles rose by 58.8% to 9,168 units from 5,774 units in 2014. Further, the company's exports have decreased by 33.1% to 7,816 units as against 11,682 units in 2014. The company recently reported a 13% YoY and 42% YoY growth in sales and net profits (Subscription Required) respectively.

The ban on luxury diesel cars and SUVs in Delhi in an attempt to curb pollution has been a jolt to automakers. Post the ruling, the stock prices of automakers with a substantial share of luxury and diesel vehicles in their product portfolio have taken a hit. In our recent edition of The 5 Minute Wrap Up Premium, we explain the impact of such rulings that are likely to change the long-term product (Subscription Required) development plans and strategies of automobile companies.

According to a leading financial daily, Coal India's subsidiary-Western Coalfields (WCL) will open 12 coal projects, having total production capacity of around 30 million tonne per annum, in the next fiscal. The news comes at the time when Coal India aims at achieving 1 billion tonne output by 2020.

The projects have already received approval from the company's board. WCL is planning an output of 100 million tonnes in another five years. It had opened 12 coal mines in the calendar year 2015. Coal India is the world's largest coal mining company. It also produces non-coking coal and coking coal of various grades for diverse applications. Coal India remains committed to strong volume growth (Subscription Required). In FY16, Coal India has envisaged a coal production target of 550 MT with capex of Rs 59.9 billion.

As the global economy reels under slowdown, commodity prices have been on a downtrend. Price of gold, metal, iron ore, and coal has declined since 2014 apart from crude as it saw earnings decline on account of excess production and subdued demand, which led to prices of some commodities, like that of iron ore hit the ten-year low levels.

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May 24, 2017 (Close)

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