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Indian Markets Trade on a Flat Note
Wed, 9 Mar 01:30 pm

After opening the day in the red, the Indian indices registered some gains and are currently trading almost flat. Sectoral indices are trading mixed with stocks from the metal, FMCG and healthcare sectors leading the losses.

The BSE Sensex is trading lower by 73 points (0.3%) and the NSE Nifty is trading down by 11 points (0.2%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 0.3% while the BSE Small Cap is trading down by 0.4%. Gold prices, per 10 grams, are trading at Rs 29,697 levels. Silver price, per kilogram, is trading at Rs 37,291 levels. Crude oil is trading at Rs 2,483 per barrel. The rupee is trading at 67.35 to the US$.

Stocks in the steel sector are trading on a negative note with Adhunik Metaliks and Jindal Steel & Power witnessing maximum selling pressure. As per an article in Business Standard, Steel Ministry has brought down the import of steel by almost one-fourth in the first eleven months of this fiscal.

Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar stated that through various measures like import and safeguard duty, minimum import price and quality control order, the ministry has curtailed steel imports by almost one-fourth in April-February period this fiscal.

Steel imports during the last fiscal 2014-15 grew 71% as compared to the previous fiscal, with India remaining a net importer. However, some relief came in during this fiscal. It was noted that import of steel during the eleven months of the current fiscal grew 20.5%. Further, inbound shipment in the month of February 2016 decreased 0.1% to 0.91 million tonnes (MT) on a month-on-month basis and 7.3% on a YoY basis.

With this fall, Indian has recorded four consecutive months of decline in steel imports. However, India remained a net importer of total finished steel in the current fiscal so far.

The fall in imports can be attributed to the various measures adopted by the government to resolve the mounting concerns in this sphere. To protect the domestic producers, the government has imposed a minimum import price on 174 steel products last month. One of our articles from the 5 Minute WrapUp shared our views on the same. You can read it here.

In July and August last year, the peak customs duty was raised on steel to 15%. Further, anti-dumping duty was imposed on certain grades of steel products during June and December 2015. Besides these developments, a provisional safeguard duty of 20% was levied on hot rolled steel coils for a period of six months.

The global slowdown led many countries including China to resort to dumping cheap steel in India. This in turn eroded the profitability of many domestic steel players. The measures undertaken by the government to protect the steel industry comes as some measure of relief to companies engaged in this business.

Mining stocks are trading on a negative note with NMDC and Vedanta leading the losses. In another news update it was reported that as many as 22 mining projects of Coal India have received green clearance this fiscal.

The company stated that in the current fiscal, 16 coal mining projects, having an additional capacity of 48 million tonnes (MT) have received environment clearance. Further, 6 mining projects of the company have received forest clearance.

The clearances were in line with the governments' focus on increasing coal production. The government has earlier stated that it aims to increase coal production to the extent possible by facilitating environment clearance (EC) and forest clearance (FC) expeditiously.

The clearances will mean an increase in production capacity for Coal India. It will also aid the company in meeting the production target of 550 MT that the government has set for the company during the ongoing fiscal.

Presently the stock of Coal India is trading down by 0.5%.

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Mar 16, 2018 (Close)