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Sensex Ends 278 Points Higher; Oil & Gas and IT Stocks Witness Buying
Thu, 16 May Closing | Monish Vora, TM Team

Indian share markets witnessed buying interest during closing hours and ended their trading session on a positive note today. Gains were largely seen in the oil & gas sector, realty sector and IT sector.

At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 278 points (up 0.8%) and the NSE Nifty closed higher by 100 points (up 0.9%).

Both, the BSE Mid Cap index and the BSE Small Cap index ended the day up by 0.3%.

Asian stock markets finished on a mixed note as of the most recent closing prices. The Hang Seng stood flat and the Nikkei was trading down by 0.6%.

European markets were also trading on a mixed note. The FTSE 100 was down by 0.1%. The DAX was trading up by 0.2%, while the CAC 40 was down by 0.1%.

The rupee was trading at 70.03 to the US$ at the time of writing.

Hindalco Industries share price was in focus today as the company reported a 37.4% decline in standalone profit to Rs 2.4 billion for the quarter ended 31 March.

The company's standalone income during January-March quarter, however, increased to Rs 127.3 billion, over Rs 118.9 billion a year ago.

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On a consolidated basis, profit fell to Rs 54.9 billion, over Rs 60.8 billion in the year ended 31 March, 2018.

The company's board of directors recommended dividend at Rs 1.20 per equity share of face value of Re 1 each for the financial year ended 31 March, 2019. This is subject to approval of the shareholders at the ensuing annual general meeting.

Satish Pai, Managing Director of the company said the company's FY19 consolidated profits reached an all-time high in spite of a difficult business environment. This resilient performance reflects the strength of the company's integrated business model, excellent operational capabilities, stable operations and our enriched product portfolio.

He said the company expects the impetus provided by India's growth to boost demand for aluminium. Rising imports of aluminium and copper, however, pose a threat and the company is looking forward to suitable steps to provide a level-playing field.

Hindalco Industries share price closed the day up by 1.3% on the BSE today.

In the news from global financial markets, as per a leading financial daily, China sold US$ 20.45 billion in Treasuries in March.

This is the most since October 2016, following US$ 1.08 billion in purchases the month before.

As per the numbers, China's stake in Treasuries fell for the first time in four months to US$ 1.121 trillion in March.

This was the lowest since May 2017 when it was US$ 1.102 trillion. The same stood US$ 1.131 trillion in February.

Moving on to the news from commodity space, crude oil was witnessing buying interest today. Oil prices went on to extend gains into a third straight session today as tensions in the Middle East stoked fears of potential disruptions to supply.

There has been rising tension in recent days regarding oil supply after the sabotage of several tankers in the Gulf and drone attacks claimed by Iran-aligned Yemen rebels shut down one of Saudi Arabia's major oil pipelines.

Meanwhile, the UAE has said four ships were damaged Sunday in sabotage attacks off the emirate of Fujairah, on the mouth of the Hormuz - a key transit point for oil tankers.

The incidents follow the expiration at the beginning of May of waivers the US granted eight major importers of Iranian oil.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) yesterday noted that world's oil supply fell last month amid rising global tensions as US sanctions on Iran tightened and OPEC+ members produced less crude in line with their pact.

In its latest monthly report on the global oil market, the IEA said that geopolitics and industry disruptions were clouding the outlook it believes and that the market balance is set to flip from surplus into deficit.

The IEA reported Iranian crude oil output fell in April to 2.6 million barrels per day (mbpd). This was the lowest level in over five years and, as per the IEA, could tumble in May to levels not seen since the 1980s war with Iraq.

How this pans out remains to be seen. Meanwhile, we will keep you updated on all the developments from this space.

Also, speaking of crude oil, within the oil industry, there are signs of a further rise in output from the United States, where crude production has already surged by more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) since early 2018, to a record 12.3 million bpd.

That has made the United States the world's biggest producer ahead of Russia and Saudi Arabia.

The number of rigs drilling for gas in the United States fell by 3 to 183 in the week to May 3, while oil-directed drilling rigs rose by 2 to 807, the reports noted.

Also, crude oil prices have quietly creeped up this year.

Oil prices have jumped as much as 3.2% to their highest level since late 2018.

As you know, rising crude oil prices have a big impact on the Indian economy as it imports over 70% of its energy needs.

Rise in crude oil increases input costs for dependent firms. It also means rising inflation. Rising inflation means rising interest rates.

It also puts pressure on the government to cut excise duty, thereby impacting its revenues. We have already seen that happening.

Research Analyst, Richa Agarwal believes that this has the potential to bring down sentiments in the domestic markets. She further believes that, if oil prices continue their upward march in a tight global environment, a broader correction in the sentiment fueled domestic market cannot be ruled out.

To know what's moving the Indian stock markets today, check out the most recent share market updates here.

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