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Weak End to the Week
Fri, 20 May Closing

Indian equity markets witnessed selling pressure in the final hour of trade to close below the dotted for a third consecutive session. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex closed down by 98 points, while the NSE Nifty finished lower by 34 points. The S&P BSE Midcap the S&P BSE Small Cap ended lower by 0.5% and 0.8% respectively. Losses were largely seen in realty and healthcare stocks.

Asian markets finished higher today with shares in Hong Kong leading the region. The Hang Seng is up 0.80% while China's Shanghai Composite is up 0.66% and Japan's Nikkei 225 is up 0.54%. European markets are broadly higher today with shares in London leading the region. The FTSE 100 is up 1.35% while France's CAC 40 is up 0.92% and Germany's DAX is up 0.85%.

The rupee was trading at 67.41 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 48.74 at the time of writing.

Majority of the FMCG stocks finished in red with Marico Ltd and Emami Ltd leading the losses. Shares of ITC finished the trading day on a strong note (up 3.7%) after it was reported that the company is planning to foray into the dairy whitener space. The company is also in the process of ramping up its manufacturing capacity and expects to set up six-eight integrated food processing plants in the next three years. These will be massive facilities that will make a variety of products. So far, the company has a combination of contract manufacturers and company-owned manufacturing facilities.

India is the world's largest milk producer, accounting for more than 13% of global production. India is also the world's largest consumer of dairy products, consuming almost 100% of its own production. In our recent edition of The 5 Minute WrapUp Premium, we have discussed the dynamics of the dairy industry .

The manufacturing facilities will come up in West Bengal, Assam, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Punjab. While not giving out specifics, the plant coming up in Kapurthala alone will see investments of Rs 14 billion and be operational by next year.

The company has in the past stated that it desires to garner revenues of about Rs 1 trillion from new FMCG businesses by 2030, as it aims to be the leading player in the category. It has also stated its long-term plans to invest Rs 250 billion across verticals.

The FMCG sector has had quite a volatile run over the past year. This can be gauged from the kind of valuation changes the sector has seen in recent times. With rural consumption slowing down, volume growth declined closer to single digit levels, and intensifying competition took a toll on the market leaders' volumes as well. All of these factors have led to a major shift in valuations over time.

Mining stocks finished weak with Hindustan Zinc and MMTC leading the losses. According to The Economic Times, Western Coalfields Ltd (WCL) - a subsidiary of Coal India Limited has decided to reduce its e-auction coal price (Subscription Required) by 20% of the rate notified. This substantial reduction will be a boon for consumers of Maharashtra and other neighboring states which were earlier taking coal from other coal companies due to higher price of WCL.

The reduction in coal prices would be 10% of notified price in case of special forward E-auction for power consumers, including captive power plant and forward E-auction for non-power consumers.

WCL recorded a highest ever growth of about 9% in coal production during 2015-16. The company produced 44.8 million tonnes (MT) of coal during the period and is heading for a target of producing 60 MT by 2019-20. In order to increase and sustain production, WCL has created record by opening 15 new/replacement projects till now.

In another development, Competition Appellate Tribunal has reportedly set aside the Rs 17.73 billion penalty imposed on Coal India and the case has been remitted back to Competition Commission of India (CCI) for passing fresh orders. CCI had imposed Rs 17.73 billion on Coal India for abusing its dominant position by imposing unfair and discriminatory conditions in its fuel supply agreements. Coal India finished the day down by 0.2% on the BSE.

After much deliberation and delay, the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 had been recently revised and Rajya Sabha approved the amended Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Bill, 2016. In a recent edition of The 5 Minute WrapUp Premium, we looked at the impact of the Act on various mining and metal companies (Subscription Required).

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Mar 23, 2018 (Close)