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IT Stocks Lead the Gains
Mon, 18 Apr 01:30 pm

The Indian indices have continued their uptrend in the post-noon trading session. Sectoral indices are trading on a positive note with stocks from the IT, telecom and consumer durables sectors leading the gains.

The BSE Sensex is trading up 168 points (up 0.7%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up 50 points (up 0.6%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up 1% while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up by 0.9%. Gold prices, per 10 grams, are trading at Rs 29,083 levels. Silver price, per kilogram is trading at Rs 38,247 levels. The rupee is trading at 66.59 to the US$.

Crude oil is trading down by around 5.2% at Rs 2,559 per barrel.

The plunge in crude oil is witnessed as 16 major petroleum producers meeting in Doha, Qatar failed to reach an agreement over output freeze. The failure has set the stage for further weakness in crude oil prices.

It was noted that Saudi Arabia, the world's largest exporter of crude oil, refused to go along with the plan that would have capped crude oil production at January levels up through October this year.

Note that crude oil prices have hit their lowest levels in recent years. And the root cause for this turmoil has been the global supply glut. Major oil producers have refused to cut their output levels and that has meant the world producing more oil than actually required. For this reason, the prices of crude oil have tanked.

According to the International Energy Agency's (IEA) latest report, the world produces about 96.4 million barrels per day of oil. This is as against the demand of just 94.8 million barrel per day, as of the first quarter of 2016.

To add to the above woes is the OPEC's prediction of less than expected crude oil demand in 2016. Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) recently said that world oil demand will grow by 1.20 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2016. This is 50,000 bpd less than expected previously. The estimates were lowered because of a slowdown in Latin America and China. OPEC further said that weakness in Brazil's economy, the removal of fuel subsidies in the Middle East and milder winter temperatures in the northern hemisphere could prompt further cutbacks in oil demand this year.

This all signals a larger supply glut this year ahead. Also, OPEC's above estimates could complicate producers' efforts to bolster prices going ahead.

Asad Dossani, editor of Daily Profit Hunter, recently wrote that OPEC has lost control of oil prices...and the resultant volatility is great for traders. You can read the entire article here.

Also, the opportunities for trading are not limited to commodities. As Apurva Seth, our lead chartist, just put out a must-read piece highlighting four reasons why this might be the best time to trade equities.

As for India, the above over-production has meant increased oil imports in recent times. Oil production levels in India are decreasing. Also, the country has resumed its unrestricted import of oil from Iran with international nuclear sanctions on Iran being lifted in the last financial year. All of these developments have meant India being more dependent on imports of oil.

What one shall keep in mind is that increasing import dependence does not bode well for India in the longer term. This is because the increasing oil imports will add constant pressure on the Indian rupee and could have major implications in terms of managing trade balances. Having said that, we believe that India now needs to focus on becoming self-reliant as far as its energy needs are concerned.

To keep a regular tab on the movements in crude oil prices, you can read weekly updates from the Daily Profit Hunter team here. Their roundup tracks the developments in the global economy as well as currency and commodity markets.

Automobile stocks are trading on a mixed note with Maharashtra Scooters and TVS Motors leading the gains.

As per a leading financial daily, Maruti Suzuki has firmed up plans to post yet another year of double-digit growth. It was reported that the company is budgeting for a total output of 1.55 million to 1.57 million units, with it planning for a 9% increase in production and about 10-11% growth in domestic sales in this fiscal year (FY17).

The company currently has an optimum installed capacity of 1.5 million units. To meet the new target, which exceeds this, it is likely to generate additional volumes through capacity enhancement at the existing plants. Furthermore, the company is factoring in fresh volumes coming out of the Gujarat factory which is expected to go on stream in January next year.

On a separate note, it was reported that six of Maruti Suzuki’s models have featured in the top-10 selling cars list for the FY16.

It was noted that the company, which had five models in top-10 selling cars in FY15, saw compact model Celerio enter the list at the seventh position in FY16.

Also, volume share of the company in top-10 models shot up to 73% with six of its models accounting for 10,29,639 units out of a total of 14,19,768 units sold in the FY16. The company's volume share in top 10 stood at 68% in 2014-15 with sales of 9,12,415 units.

One shall also note that the company sold 1.29 lakh units in March, witnessing a YoY growth of 15.9%. This was aided by domestic sales growth of 14.6% and exports growth of 33.4% during the month.

Maruti Suzuki is India's largest passenger car company. The company offers full range of cars from entry level Maruti 800 & Alto to stylish hatchback Ritz, A-star, Swift, Wagon R, Estillo and sedans DZire, SX4 and Sports Utility vehicle Grand Vitara. In its results for the third quarter ended December 2015, the company reported a 20% YoY and 27% YoY growth in sales and net profits, respectively. Here is our analysis of the results (subscription required).

Presently the stock of Maruti Suzuki is trading down by 0.3%.

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