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Sensex Ends Higher; Tata Steel & Sun Pharma Top Gainers
Tue, 20 Mar Closing | Rini Mehta, TM Team

Indian share markets ended higher after a choppy session. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex finished higher by 74 points. While, the NSE Nifty finished higher by 30 points. Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Midcap Index ended up by 0.2% while S&P BSE Small Cap Index ended down by 0.2%.

Sectoral indices ended the day on a mixed note with information technology stocks and automobile stocks leading the gainers. While, energy stocks and metal stocks ended the day in red.

Overseas, Asian stock markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.35% and the Hang Seng rose 0.11%. The Nikkei 225 lost 0.47%. European markets are mixed. The FTSE 100 is higher by 0.12%, while the CAC 40 is leading the DAX lower. They are down 0.19% and 0.15% respectively.

The rupee was trading at Rs 65.20 against the US$ in the afternoon session.

In the news from the economy. As per an article in a leading financial daily, the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) data on performance of the private corporate sector has showed that India's manufacturing sector witnessed an improvement in sales growth in the period October-December 2017-18 (Q3) on annual basis.

However net profit has remained subdued due to lack of support from other/non-operating income. It noted that during Q3 of FY18, manufacturing companies' sales surged by 14% as compared to similar period of the previous fiscal. While net profit of these companies declined by 2.4%.

According to the data, the information technology (IT) sector also registered modest improvement in sales growth, although lower than in the previous year.

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Further, the services (non-IT) sector showed signs of revival as reflected by positive sales growth.

Besides, it pointed out that among major manufacturing industries, demand conditions improved for chemical and chemical products; cement and cement products; machinery and machine tools; and motor vehicles and other transport equipment.

The data further stated that operating profits of the manufacturing sector were supported by improved demand conditions and continued to record a healthy growth, despite significant increase in input costs.

It also said that pricing power in terms of the net profit margin declined for the manufacturing sector, while it improved for the services (non-IT) sector.

Moving on to the news from the steel sector. India has exported 8.22 million tonnes (MT) of finished steel during April-January of 2017-18.

As per data provided by Minister of State for Steel, the country had exported 8.24 MT during 2016-17 and 4.08 MT in 2015-16.

As against exports, the imports were lower at 6.45 MT during April-January of 2017-18. The country imported 7.23 MT in 2016-17 and 11.71 MT during 2015-16.

Besides, the minister said that government does not control or regulate the pricing of iron ore or any other raw materials in the country.

Notably, India's steel industry was just coming out of a rough patch.

Demand was picking up. Steel prices were on the rise. Buyers were lining up to pick up stressed assets. With the expected pick up in the investment cycle, the sector was on the upswing.

Is the Steel Sector's Recovery Under Threat?

Then Donald Trump spoiled the party. The US government plans to impose a 25% tariff on steel and a 10% tariff on aluminium.

India produces a lot of both commodities but internationally, we are not a big player. The US imports only 2.4% of steel and 2% aluminium from India.

But it's not so simple.

With the new US tariffs, major exporters like South Korea will look to sell in other countries. This would lead to a glut and as a result, lower prices.

This could threaten the nascent recovery in the industry.

And here's a note from Profit Hunter:

Bharti Infratel is among the top gainers in the Nifty 50 Index - up 5%. Take a look at its chart below.

The stock topped out at 500 in August 2015. It traded in a down sloping channel line to touch a low of 282 in February 2017. It formed a double bottom pattern near the channel's support line. After the stock broke out the pattern, it rallied strongly to break above the channel's resistance line in April 2017.

It rallied to touch a high of 483 in October 2017 but found a strong resistance near that level from 2015 high. It corrected to a low of 320 and stabilised there for a while. The volumes are also healthy near the 320 level.

Last month, the stock broke above the falling trendline (green line) and slipped back to find support from this trendline twice. The stock also found support from the falling channel line (blue line). Today, the stock bounced up strongly after finding support from these multiple trendlines.

So does this indicate that the stock has now resumed its up move? Let's keep a close watch on it.

Bharti Infratel Sored 5% for the Day
Bharti Infratel Sored 5% for the Day 

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