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Indian Indices Open Strong
Thu, 17 Mar 09:30 am

Major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a positive note. The stock market in Singapore and Hong Kong are trading higher by 1.2% and 1.3% respectively. Major indices in Europe and US ended their previous session in green. The rupee is trading at 67.36 per US$.

Indian stock markets have opened the day on a firm note. The BSE Sensex is trading higher by 233 points (up 0.9%) and NSE Nifty is trading higher by 69 point (up 0.9%). Both, BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap have surged upwards and are trading higher by 0.9% and 0.8% respectively. Major sectoral indices have opened the day in green with stocks from metal and oil & gas sector are witnessing maximum buying interest.

As per an article in Livemint, the prices of lead have suddenly surged by about 12% from its low end in the month of January. This trend could be a detriment to the battery manufacturers.

One of the main raw materials used in manufacturing batteries is lead. The rise in the prices of lead can eat into the profits of the battery companies, provided such increase is passed on to the consumer.

However, given strong competition in this market, it will be difficult for the manufacturers to raise the battery prices. Further, cut throat competition between the two market leaders namely Exide and Amara Raja Batteries would also make the price hike difficult.

These players had posted rock solid operating margins in the quarter ended December 2015. However, increasing lead prices will now weigh on the operating margins as well as profits of these companies too. Going forward, prices of lead and their impact on the operating margins will be closely assessed to gauge the impact on the profitability of the battery manufacturers.

In another news update, jewelers have been on a strike for the past two weeks protesting against the excise duty hikes. The Union Budget 2016 increased the excise duty on jewellery from nil to (1% without input tax credit and 12.5% if the input tax credit is availed). This is likely to hamper the demand for gold jewellery going forward.

The demand for gold jewellery in 2015 was 654 tonnes a rise of 5% as compared to a year ago. Indians have always been fascinated with the idea of buying gold. Further the historical trend suggests that gold demand in India tends to be price inelastic. Hence, there could possibly be no impact of the excise duty on the demand for gold.

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Mar 16, 2018 (Close)