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Markets Continue to Rally
Wed, 13 Apr Closing

Buying activity was witnessed throughout the trading session today as Indian markets flourished in the green amid strong global cues. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex closed higher by 481 points, the NSE Nifty finished higher by 142 points. The S&P BSE Midcap and the S&P BSE Small Cap finished up by 0.9% and 1.1% respectively. Gains were largely seen in auto and banking stocks.

Asian markets closed higher following a strong finish in US equities overnight. The markets were also upbeat after a Chinese trade data showed exports climbed in March and because of a rise in oil prices. The Hang Seng finished up 3.19%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 closed up 2.84% and China's Shanghai Composite was up 1.42%. European markets are trading sharply higher today with shares in France leading the region. The CAC 40 is up 2.57%, while Germany's DAX is up 2.22% and London's FTSE 100 is up 1.47%.

The rupee was trading at 66.43 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 41.56 at the time of writing.

According to an article in The Economic Times, National Aluminum Company Limited (Nalco) is considering setting up a 500,000 tonne per annum aluminium plant in Iran through a joint venture. The company's Chief Managing Director met Iran's Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organisation head Mehdi Karbasian in Tehran over the proposed JV for setting up the plant, which includes a smelter and a gas-based power plant in the Chabahar Free Trade Zone.

Reportedly, the discussions also emphasized on Nalco's interest to further expand its presence in Iran through more co-operation in bauxite mining and aluminum ingot production. The company faces a daunting challenge of keeping operational and raw material costs in check in its bid to stay competitive even as it aims to expand capacity to take advantage of the infrastructure boom in India. The scrip of Nalco finished firm (up 6.9%) on the BSE.

On another note, global margins of aluminium companies have been under severe pressure due to concerns over Chinese aluminium exports and global meltdown in commodity prices (Subscription Required). Moreover, domestic aluminium companies are also struggling with higher fuel costs. Aluminium companies were forced to source coal from the open markets in the wake of cancellation of the captive coal blocks allotted to them by the Supreme Court last year. And price hikes taken to pass on the cost has further dented their competitiveness in the global markets. This has all been reflected in the weakening financial performance during the first half of FY16 (Subscription required).

Moving on to news from the steel sector. According to a leading financial daily, Tata Steel and Germany's Thyssenkrupp are holding high-level talks on the possibility of combining their European steel operations in a joint venture, but are also looking at other viable options. Reportedly, under the model currently being discussed, Tata and Thyssenkrupp would each have shares in the joint venture proportional to the values of the businesses they were contributing. Also reportedly Tata Steel was very interested in acquiring Thyssenkrupp's Brazilian CSA steel plant. This comes at a time when Tata Steel is selling its Scunthorpe steel plant in UK to London-based Greybull Capital.

Meanwhile, Steel Authority of India, JSW Steel and Essar Steel India have filed a petition before the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) for initiation of anti-dumping investigation of a certain variety of steel products by six countries, including China, Japan and Korea. The move assumes significance as the sector is facing challenges due to cheap steel imports. The government has already taken steps such as imposing minimum import price and safeguard duty to guard domestic producers.

Buying activity was witnessed across majority of the steel stocks with Tayo Rolls and Jindal Steel and Power leading the gains.

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Feb 21, 2018 (Close)