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Mid, Small Caps Take a Toll
Fri, 15 Jan Closing

After opening the day flat, the Indian stock markets ended the day on a disappointing note as selling activity intensified in the post noon session weighed by falls in Asian and European markets. The BSE Sensex today closed lower by 318 points, while the NSE Nifty closed lower by 99 points. Midcaps and small caps fared the worst. While the S&P BSE Mid Cap index closed lower by 2.7%, the S&P BSE Small Cap index closed the day with losses of 3.1%. Losses were largely seen in power and realty stocks.

Major Asian stock markets ended lower on Friday, erasing early gains despite a positive finish from Wall Street overnight. The Shanghai Composite is down 3.55%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng is off 1.50% and Japan's Nikkei 225 is lower by 0.54%. European shares also plunged, knocked by losses in commodity-related stocks as BHP Billiton said it would write down the value of its US shale assets by US$7.2 billion and oil fell below US$30 a barrel. The rupee was trading at 67.43 against the US$ at the time of writing.

Shares of Tata Steel plunged more than 4% in intraday trading today after global rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) downgraded rating of the company to 'BB-', a low investment grade rating, over persistent subdued operating performance amid subdued demand and low steel prices.

The agency lowered its long-term corporate credit rating on Tata Steel to 'BB-' from 'BB', adding that the outlook for the firm is stable. S&P also lowered its long-term corporate credit rating on Tata Steel UK Holdings to 'B+' from 'BB-' but maintained a stable outlook on the firm struggling with high debt and lower sales.

Noting that subdued demand and low steel prices have led to weak operating performance of both its domestic and Europe operations (Subscription Required), S&P expects Tata Steel's operating metric to improve only gradually, beginning fiscal 2016-17. S&P highlights that the leverage will remain high over 12-18 months due to weak cash flows and compressed profitability. In India, profitability has been hit by falling steel prices and disruptions in mining operations.

In other news, Tata Steel has reportedly sealed the deal with a London-based private equity firm for the sale of its struggling Long Products business, which includes plants at Scunthorpe in east England and Lanakrshire in Scotland.

The has been badly hit by a sharp slowdown in manufacturing around the world (Subscription Required). This has been further accentuated by the economic downturn in the world's largest producer and consumer of metals, China. This has forced the central bank of China to weaken the yuan in a desperate attempt to boost exports and support an economy that is growing at its slowest rate in a quarter century.

According to a leading economic daily, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has achieved capacity addition of 5,010 Mega Watt (MW) of utility power projects in the first three quarters of the current financial year (2015-16). Significantly, this is the highest ever capacity addition achieved by BHEL for the corresponding period in any financial year. In addition, projects aggregating to 2,270 MW have also been synchronized by BHEL during this period and are available for capacity addition.

In the same period, BHEL has also commissioned 524 MW of industrial sets and 125 MW of overseas projects, resulting in the highest ever overall capacity addition/synchronization of 7,929 MW, in the first nine months of a financial year.

BHEL has reportedly already commissioned hydro sets totaling to 730 MW till date continuing the momentum achieved in the commissioning of hydro power plants in the last year. This is almost the same as the total hydro capacity addition of 736 MW in the country during the entire financial year 2014-15. BHEL is also the market leader of power equipment in the Indian Power Sector. However, the company recently reported 3.2% YoY decline in sales (Subscription Required), and a loss of Rs 2 billion during the second quarter results for the financial year 2015-2016.

Over the last eight years, the has seen numbers ranging from an output growth of 48% YoY in one year, to a contraction of 6% YoY in another. In our recent edition of The 5 Minute WrapUp Premium, we explain what factors to take into consideration when picking an engineering company stock (Subscription Required).

For information on how to pick stocks that have the potential to deliver big returns, download our special report now!

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May 26, 2017 (Close)

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