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Weak Global Cues Weigh on Markets
Thu, 19 May Closing

Indian equity markets languished in red during the entire trading period today, closing the day well below the dotted line for a second consecutive session as investors got spooked about the possibility of an interest rate hike by the US Federal Reserve. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex closed lower by 305 points, the NSE Nifty finished lower by 87 points. The S&P BSE Midcap the S&P BSE Small Cap finished down by 1.2% and 1.1% respectively. Losses were largely seen in capital goods, FMCG and metal stocks.

Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Nikkei 225 gained 0.1%, while the Hang Seng led the Shanghai Composite lower. They fell 0.67% and 0.02% respectively. European markets are broadly lower today with shares in Germany off the most. The DAX is down 1.55%, while London's FTSE 100 is off 1.38% and France's CAC 40 is lower by 0.88%.

The rupee was trading at 67.23 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 47.25 at the time of writing.

Most of the power stocks finished weak with Adani Power and Torrent Power leading the losses. Shares of Torrent Power nosedived 12% after the company's net profit for the quarter ended March 2016went down by over 95%.

According to a leading financial daily, Tata Power's 100% subsidiary - Tata Power Renewable Energy (TPREL) has won two solar grid connected photovoltaic projects of 50 MW capacity each in Pavagada Solar Park in the Tumkur district of Karnataka.

The projects have been awarded through open category under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM) Phase-II Batch-II Tranche-I under 'State Specific Bundling Scheme'. TPREL has received the Letter Of Intent to develop the projects and will sign a 25 year Power Purchase Agreement with NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam. Tata Power finished the day down by 2.1% on the BSE.

Meanwhile, shares of Power Grid Corporation of India finished the trading day on an optimistic note (up 0.6%) after it was reported that the company has operationalized its ultra-high voltage 1200 kV National Test Station (NTS) at Bina in Madhya Pradesh. This will help the company in increasing power carrying capacity. Reportedly, the 1,200 kV station has five to six times more power carrying capacity than the 400 kV stations for transmission of power.

The power sector is going through troubled times. The State Electricity Boards (SEBs) that buy power from generators are reeling under huge losses and bloated debt. The government program 'Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana' (UDAY) for SEBs holds hope to revitalize the power sector (Subscription Required). This is because unlike the previous bail-out packages that were provided for debt restructuring, the UDAY offers a framework for the long-term revamp of SEB operations.

According to an article in The Business Standard, production of sugar for this crop year is pegged at 25.1 million tonnes (mt), from the earlier estimates of 25.6 mt, mainly due to estimated decline in output in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.

Production in the key state of Maharashtra stood at 8.4 million mt for the 2015-2016 season till end-April, compared to 10.3 million mt a year ago. In the case of UP, the second largest sugar producing state, output for the same period was 6.8 million mt, compared to 7 million mt a year ago.

The overall production in the country till end-April in the 2015-16 crop year was at 24.6 mt, down 11% from a year earlier. The production across the country is almost complete for this crop year with only 48 mills continuing with crushing operations, compared with 97 mills a year ago. Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) has also made downward revision of production to over 25 MT for the current marketing year on lower sugarcane availability .

Selling activity was witnessed across majority of the sugar stocks with Uttam Sugar and Oudh Sugar Mills leading the losses. Sugar stocks have seen a strong rally from their beaten down levels at the end of September 2015. In our recent edition of The 5 Minute Wrap Up Premium, we have explained whether investors should consider investing in sugar stocks (Subscription Required).

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Jul 21, 2017 (Close)

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