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Sensex Opens 100 Points Up; ONGC Gains 1.2% on Oil Discovery
Tue, 2 Jan 09:30 am | Karan Janani, TM Team

Asian stock markets were mostly trading firm in the first trading session of the new year as markets shrugged off the softer lead from Wall Street. Meanwhile, the dollar remained on the back foot after touching its lowest levels in three months. Shares in China are higher today as the Hang Seng gains 1.71% while Shanghai Composite is up 1.1%.

Meanwhile, Indian share markets too have opened the day on a firm note. BSE Sensex is trading higher by 100 points and NSE Nifty is trading higher by 42 points. S&P BSE Mid Cap is trading up by 0.4% and S&P BSE Small Cap is trading up by 0.5%.

Gains are largely seen in power stocks, pharma stocks and realty stocks. The rupee is trading at Rs 63.67 against the US$.

India was among the three emerging markets, which gained more than 35% in dollar terms. The other two are Hungary and South Korea.

The BSE Sensex earned a 35.1% return in the dollar terms and 28% in the local currency in 2017. However, this wasn't enough to beat the midcap and smallcap indices.

The midcap and smallcap indices saw a sharp increase of 47% and 58% respectively in 2017.

With this, the market cap to GDP ratio is close to 100%, indicating market at its peak. The sharp rally was due to huge inflows from domestic institutional investors (DIIs) and foreign institutional investors (FIIs).

India Outperforms Emerging Market Peers in 2017

This is despite the sluggishness in corporate earnings thanks to the lingering effects of demonetization and GST implementation. Not to mention, uncertainties from international arena such as tensions between the US and North Korea, Middle-East geopolitics, and three fed hikes in 2017 that kept the market on tenterhooks.

In news from oil & gas sector, as per a leading financial daily, Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) has made a significant oil and gas discovery to the west of its prime Mumbai High fields in the Arabian Sea.

The discovery has indicated potential in-place reserves of about 29.74 million tonnes of oil and oil equivalent gas.

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Mumbai High, India's biggest oil field, currently produces 205,000 barrels of oil per day (just over 10 million tonnes per annum) and the new find would add to that production in less than two years' time.

As per the reports, the new find will help the company maintain production levels from the basin for a longer time than currently estimated.

ONGC share price opened the trading day up by 1.6%.

In another development, diesel prices have flared up to a new record level in Delhi while petrol, kerosene and jet fuel prices continue to rise in the country in line with the surge in global crude oil prices.

As per Economic Times, state-owned oil companies sold diesel to retail consumers for Rs 59.70 a litre in Delhi on Monday at the highest ever price in the city. In Kolkata and Chennai, diesel prices were the highest since September 2014. In Mumbai, prices were the highest since March 2017.

In news from automobile sector, as per an article in The Economic Times, a surging stock market, year-end stock clearance offers and improved consumer sentiment on the back of a broader economic revival pushed up sales of passenger vehicles in December.

Maruti Suzuki reported an 11.4% expansion in sales at 118,560 units in the last month of 2017, continued to be driven by compact cars and utility vehicles.

At Honda Cars India, annual sales rose 15% to 178,755 units in 2017, compared with 156,107 units in 2016.

Only, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) was among the automobile companies that reported sales on Monday to post a drop in monthly sales. The company's volume fell 7% to 15,543 units in December.

Two-wheeler makers also seemed to have fared well with TVS Motor reporting a nearly 38% increase in sales at 247,630 units in the past month.

With demonetisation and transition to GST behind them, industry experts expect the momentum in the market to continue through the fiscal year.

Automobile stocks opened the trading day on a firm note. M&M share price and Maruti Suzuki share price opened up by 0.9% and 0.1% respectively.

Moving on to news from FMCG sector. As per an article in The Economic Times, Britannia Industries, has ventured into the chocolate wafers category by taking on the likes of Nestle's KitKat and Cadbury's Perk

Britannia will sell chocolate wafers under the Pure Magic biscuit brand. Pure Magic is a smaller brand for Britannia than its Good Day and Marie Gold range of biscuits.

The chocolate category, too, has been facing headwinds, with consumers holding on to discretionary spending on account of slowing sales in rural markets and impulse purchases being impacted by demonetization.

As per the reports, Britannia has identified driving premium products, stepping up distribution and attaining cost leadership as core focus areas.

Britannia share price opened the trading day down by 0.4% on the BSE.

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