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Sensex Ends the Day in the Red; Capital Goods Stocks Lead Losses
Wed, 24 May Closing

After opening the day marginally higher, share markets in India witnessed volatile trade and ended the day in red. Losses were largely seen in the capital goods sector and metals sector, while stocks in the oil and gas sector ended the day in green.

At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood lower by 64 points (down 0.2%) and the NSE Nifty closed lower by 26 points (down 0.3%). The BSE Mid Cap index and the BSE Small Cap index ended the day down by 1.4% each.

In news from stocks in the auto sector. Bharat Forge share price ended the day on a positive note today after the company reported better than expected earnings in the March quarter.

The auto components major reported a 25% increase in standalone net profit at Rs 2,075 million for the fourth quarter ended March 2017, as compared to a net profit of Rs 1,655.7 million in the same quarter a year ago.

For the entire fiscal, the company reported a net profit of Rs 5850 million as compared to Rs 6976.2 million in the 2015-16 fiscal.

Revenue of the company rose 11.6% at Rs 11.8 billion versus Rs 10.6 billion. The management noted that the increase in sales was broad-based across all segments and geographies.

The operating profit (EBITDA) was up 4.9% at Rs 3,200 million, while EBITDA margin was down at 28.4%.

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Looking ahead into FY18, the company expects its performance to be better than the underlying market demand, driven by improvement in North American market across sectors.

Bharat Forge's board recommended a final dividend of Rs 5 per share for the year ended March 2017.

Bharat Forge share price closed the day up by over 4%.

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Moving on to news from the steel sector. According to data released by the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF), India has emerged as the second largest stainless steel producer in the world after China. India overtook Japan as the second-biggest producer in 2016.

India's stainless steel production rose to 3.32 million tonne in 2016 showing an impressive growth of about 9% over 3 million tonne it produced in 2015.

Several measures, including the government's infrastructure push, along with 'Make in India' and other initiatives are set to bode well for the sector.

However, the government has consistently resorted to protectionist measures as regards the steel sector, to protect steel companies from international competition.

Consequently, India's steel imports dropped 36% in 2016-17 to 7.4 million tonnes (MT). Meanwhile, steel exports in 2016-17 registered a growth of 102%. But, the steel makers are chasing imports out by ramping up production. In March, domestic steel output rose by 17.4% YoY, as large private steel producers such as Tata Steel and JSW Steel ramped up output.

India has become a net exporter of steel in 2016-17 as imports fell gradually.

No Takers for Domestic Steel

The quantum jump in exports comes as the government is providing extensive support to the domestic steel industry by way of trade remedial measures, including anti-dumping.

But the bigger concern is weak consumption growth. The consumption data over the past few months clearly show that there are no takers for domestic steel.

We do not think the trend is sustainable. And unless domestic consumption picks up, steel producers may have to take price cuts to utilize their capacities.

And here's a note from Profit Hunter:

The Nifty 50 Index has been trading lackluster today. But one stock has captured our attention - Voltas Ltd. It's up 9% for the day. Let's have a look at the chart.

The stock bottomed with the overall market in February 2016. It rallied strongly to hit a high of Rs 406 in October 2016. It then corrected to a low of Rs 287 as demonetisation clouded the Indian markets. But the uptrend in the stock continued.

Today, the stock opened gap up and hit a lifetime high of Rs 450, indicating strong momentum. The RSI indicator is also trading in a typical bull market range, finding support from 40 level. The volumes are also heavy indicating buying interest.

But for the past few days, the Nifty Index has been trading weak.

It will be interesting to see if Voltas can continue with this momentum or if the weak broader markets will drag the stock down.

Voltas at Lifetime High
HUL at Its Lifetime High 

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Aug 18, 2017 (Close)

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