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A Positive Start to the Week
Mon, 14 Mar Closing

Indian equity markets declined gradually as the day progressed, but still managed to finish above the dotted line amid strong global cues. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex was up by 86 points, while the NSE Nifty was up by 29 points. The S&P BSE Midcap and the S&P BSE Small Cap indices closed higher by 0.3% and 0.4% respectively. Gains were largely seen in FMCG and banking stocks. Profit booking was witnessed in metal and realty stocks.

Asian markets traded higher across the board today, buoyed by gains on Wall Street. The Shanghai Composite is up 1.75%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 is up 1.74%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng is up 1.12%. European markets are also broadly higher today with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX is up 1.67%, while London's FTSE 100 is up 0.54%. France's CAC 40 is up 0.48%.

Oil prices were trading at US$37.78 a barrel at the time of writing. The rupee was trading at 67.02 against the US$.

Buying was witnessed across oil & gas sector stocks with Cairn India and ONGC leading the gains. Shares of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) finished the day on an encouraging note (up 1.5%) after it was reported that the company is planning to make a multi-billion dollar investment in the Krishna-Godavari-DWN 98/2 Cluster 2 block in FY17. The pool planned capex for the next fiscal is about Rs 300 billion. The D5 Blocks will be the second largest oil and gas fields for both ONGC and in the country. This will be the largest investment ever in a single field by ONGC.

Reportedly, on completion of the development by end 2019, the 98/2 fields in the D5 Block in the KG Basin, will be able to pump out 75,000 barrels a day of oil and 17 million standard cubic meters a day of gas. In 2015-16, the company approved six projects of projected costs of Rs 140 billion and total production potential of 23 million tonnes of oil and oil equivalent of gas. Eleven projects were completed in FY16.

Recently, the government announced a new pricing formula for undeveloped gas discoveries in difficult areas in a bid to attract investments in oil and gas sector. This would result in 85% jump in rates and help monetize Rs 1.80 trillion of inert funds.

ONGC recently reported results for the quarter ended December 2015. The topline for the quarter declined 1.7% year on year (YoY) while bottom-line degrew by 64% YoY (Subscription Required), on a standalone basis. Since June 2010 highs, oil prices have crashed 70% while, ONGC's stock price has crashed 53%. In our recent edition of The 5 Minute Wrap Up Premium, we explain whether it is the right time to invest in the company (Subscription Required).

According to an article in The Economic Times, Tata Steel will spend Rs 20 billion to develop the Khondbond mine in Odisha. This comes at a time when the company is still gearing up for an integrated commissioning of its new plant in Kalingangar. The investment on mine development is separate from the Rs 250 billion invested in building the Kalinganagar plant.

The mine which is located in Keonjhar, is reportedly expected to produce up to 5 million tonnes of iron ore, and is tipped to emerge as one of the three mines that will meet Tata Steel's iron ore needs. Tata Steel's total domestic production is poised to go up to 13 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). The new plant can produce 3 mtpa of steel in the first phase with the capacity due to be ramped up to 6 mtpa. Tata Steel has about 15% share of the Indian steel market which produced 80-90 million tonnes of steel last year.

In 3QFY16, Tata Steel registered a loss (Subscription Required) on consolidated level. The current business conditions for the global steel industry are extremely challenging with elevated imports across regions and depressed market sentiments. This has affected Tata Steel Group's profitability. Meanwhile, the directorate general of foreign trade recently imposed a minimum import price (MIP) on 173 steel products. The prices range from US$352 per tonne to US$752 per tonne of steel. The MIP has been imposed in order to counter the dumping of cheap Chinese steel and should help Indian steel companies. Tata Steel finished the day up by 0.7% on the BSE.

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Jan 19, 2018 (Close)