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Indian Stock Market News, Equity Market and Sensex Today in India | Equitymaster
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Markets start week on a positive note 
(Mon, 24 Mar Closing) 
 
The Indian stock markets ended the day on a firm note with the BSE-Sensex closing higher by about 300 points or 1.4%, while the NSE-Nifty ended higher by about 90 points or 1.4%. Stocks from the banking and capital goods spaces were amongst the top performers today, while stocks from the information technology and pharmaceuticals spaces were least in demand. The BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap indices ended the day on a firm note with the indices closing higher by about 0.1% each.

Stock markets in other parts of Asia ended the day on a firm note with China, Japan and Hong Kong up by about 0.9%, 1.8% and 1.9% respectively. The rupee was trading at Rs 60.7 to the dollar at the time of writing.

Stocks of companies from the capital goods space were amongst the top performers today. The top performing stocks included BEML, Bharat Electronics and ABB India. Power equipment manufacturer Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) ended the day with gains of about 0.7%, seemingly on the back of news of it winning a big order worth Rs 30 bn from power major National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC). This order is for the supply of steam generators for an upcoming power project in Odisha. As per BHEL, this order has been won amongst stiff competition from international players. The scope of the work would include design, engineering, manufacture, supply, erection, testing and commissioning of the steam generators and auxiliaries. At the end of December 2013, BHEL's order backlog stood at a little over Rs 1 trillion. In the 9mFY14 period, the company's revenues and profits declined by 18% YoY and 52% YoY respectively.

Cement stocks ended the day on a firm note led by JK Lakshmi Cement, Shree Cement and India Cements. According to a leading financial daily, cement maker ACC is set to buy Jaiprakash Associates Ltd's (JAL's) stake in two cement joint ventures with steel maker Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL). ACC Ltd has been in talks for a while now with JAL regarding the same and the talks might conclude today. JAL is considering 74% stake sale in the two cement joint ventures with SAIL located at Bhilai (Chhattisgarh) and Bokaro (Jharkhand) with a total capacity of around 4 m tonnes per annum (mtpa). Last year the Jaypee Group had sold its 4.8 mtpa capacity cement plant to Aditya Birla Group's Ultratech. To reduce the debt burden, the group is also in talks to sell its two hydro-power projects in Himachal Pradesh. The debt laden Jaypee Group is expected to utilize the sales proceeds from the two cement joint ventures with SAIL for trimming its debt exposure.

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