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Indian equity markets languish in red
Mon, 18 Mar 01:30 pm

Backed by persistent selling pressure across index heavyweights, the Indian equity markets continued to trade weak in the post noon trading session. Majority of the sectoral indices are trading in the negative territory with metal, auto and realty stocks witnessing highest selling pressure. Only stocks from the FMCG, consumer durables and healthcare sectors are trading in the positive.

BSE-Sensex is down by 175 points and NSE-Nifty is trading down by 52 points. While BSE Mid Cap is trading down by 0.4%, BSE Small Cap index is trading down by 0.7%. The rupee is trading at 54.26 to the US dollar.

Most of the telecom stocks are trading in the red with Reliance Communications and Indian Telephone Industries Limited (ITI) leading the pack of losers. As per a financial daily, Bharti Airtel might soon get one more notice. This notice will be issued for sharing 3G airwaves with its telecom peers viz., Idea Cellular and Vodafone. Reportedly, a penalty of Rs 5 bn might be demanded by the regulators for the alleged violations. In the previous week also, DoT (Department of Telecommunications) had imposed penalty worth Rs 3.5 bn for offering high end data services, where it does not have 3G frequencies. The company was also ordered to stop offering 3G services in seven regions where it did not hold the permits. The stock of Bharti was trading down by 1.5%.

Majority of the power stocks are trading in the red with Tata Power and Indiabulls Power being the biggest losers. Only National Hydroelectric Power Corp. (NHPC Ltd) and Nevyeli Lignite are trading in the green. As per a leading financial daily, rising demand for thermal coal from domestic power companies and export restrictions imposed by Indonesia have led to a spike in the price of the low-quality Indonesian coal. While the price of the high-value South African coal of 6,000 gross calorific value (GCV) has reduced by US$ 2 a tonne, the price of 4,200 GCV Indonesian coal has risen by US$ 5 per tonne in the last one month. Indonesian coal prices remained firm since January as production was impacted by inclement weather. To add to this, the Indonesian government continued on its stand to cut down export of low heat-value thermal coal that has further pushed up prices. Tata Power recently commissioned its 4,000 MW ultra mega power project (UMPP) at Mundra in Gujarat. The company is seeking an increase of 80 paise in its power purchase agreement tariff of Rs 2.55 to account for the higher coal prices caused by the policy change by the Indonesian government. Last year, the Indonesian government had given a mandate to benchmark coal exports from the country to international prices.

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Mar 20, 2018 (Close)