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After trading below the dotted line for majority part of the day, Indian equity markets pared losses in the afternoon session to finish well in the green amid a strong European market opening. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex closed higher by 131 points, and the NSE Nifty closed higher by 38 points. The S&P BSE Midcap and the S&P BSE Small Cap bucked this trend and finished lower by 0.4% and 0.2% respectively. Sectoral indices closed on a mixed note with metal and consumer durables stocks leading the losses. Gains were seen in banking and FMCG stocks.
Asia markets closed mixed, following a weaker finish on Wall Street overnight ahead of the outcome of the US Federal Reserve's policy meeting. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.21%, while the Nikkei 225 and the Hang Seng fell 0.83% and 0.15% respectively. European markets are trading higher today with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX is up 0.7% while France's CAC 40 is up 0.3% and London's FTSE 100 is up 0.1%.
Oil prices were trading at US$ 37 a barrel at the time of writing. The rupee was trading at 67.23 against the US$.
According to an article in The Economic Times, Tata Motors will supply 25 hybrid electric busses to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA). The contract to supply Tata Starbus Diesel Series Hybrid Electric Bus with full low floor configuration is the single largest order awarded for hybrid electric vehicle technology. However, the value of the contract was not disclosed.
According to the reports, the company highlighted that hybrid electric bus offers the lowest cost of ownership, with improved fuel savings of the order of 25-30%, reduction in emissions in comparison to conventional buses and runs on pure electric mode, for around 30-35% of the total travel distance. Meanwhile, Tata Motors had a sluggish third quarter ended December 2015. Revenues grew by 3% YoY, while net profits fell by 2% YoY on a consolidated basis.
The script of Tata motors finished the trading day on a negative note (down 0.2%) on the BSE. The stock price of Tata Motors has decreased more than 40% in the last one year. In our recent edition of The 5 Minute Wrap Up Premium, we explain the reason behind the plunge in the stock price and performance of Tata Motors (Subscription Required).
Moving on to the news from the energy sector. According to a leading financial daily, Indian Oil Corporation, Oil India & Bharat Petroleum will buy 29.9% stake in Russia's Taas-Yuriakh oil field in East Siberia for US$1.3 billion. ONGC Videsh Ltd, (the overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation) and Bharat Petro Resources Ltd, (the upstream subsidiary of state-owned refiner Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd), will also invest US$ 180 million each as part of future capital expenditures. Reportedly, the Taas-Yuriakh has the capacity to produce 20,000 barrels per day of crude oil and is expected to reach up to 100,000 barrels per day in the next two years.
In another development, Mozambique LNG, Africa's largest energy development group, is in talks with Indian oil companies to supply Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to the country. The company has large deposits of natural gas reserves to support 50 million tons a year of LNG production at peak. Mozambique LNG is strategically located close to India in terms of gas shipments, with one-way ship journey of to Northern India in seven days compared to a 17 day trip to Japan, the world's largest LNG import market.
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