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Monsoon forecast rattles markets
Wed, 3 Jun 09:30 am

The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with markets in Japan (down0.4%) and China (down 1.1%) leading the losses. However, stock markets in Hong Kong (up 0.7%) and Singapore (up 0.13%) are trading on a positive note. US and European stock markets closed the session on a negative note. Crude oil prices increased nearly 2.3% , currently at Rs 3,918 per barrel. Precious metals gold and silver are trading up by 0.7% and 0.4% respectively.

Indian stock markets have opened the trading session on a negative note today. The markets have reacted negatively to RBI's guidance that there is a limited room for further rate cuts and to downgraded monsoon forecast. BSE-Sensex is trading lower by 70 points (down 0.3%) and NSE-Nifty is trading lower by 24 points (down 0.3%). S&P BSE Midcap and S&P BSE Smallcap indices are also trading in the red. Among the sectoral indices, FMCG and banking are the leading losers while software stocks are leading the gains. The rupee is trading at 63.79 per US dollar.

Stocks in the engineering sector are trading on a mixed note. According to a leading financial daily, power generation machinery maker Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has bagged its largest order amounting to Rs 179.5 bn. The order is from Telangana State Power Generation Corp (TSGENCO) for setting up a 4,000 MW (megawatt) plant at Yadadri. This 4,000 MW thermal power project from TSGENCO is one of the highest orders ever placed in the capital goods sector in India. Earlier this year, TSGENCO had entered into a MoU (memorandum of understanding) with BHEL for construction of new thermal power plants totaling to 6,000 MW in the state. The company stated that all these power plants are expected to commence generation on fast-track basis to meet the state's increasing demand for power. Stock of BHEL today has opened in green (up 1.1%).

Food and Tobacco stocks are also trading mixed. Stock of ITC is witnessing selling pressure as reports suggested that Maharashtra government has banned sale of loose cigarettes. It was reported that about 70% of sales from cigarette business for ITC came from loose cigarettes. Meanwhile, the company posted yet another weak quarter led by exceptionally weak demand. Steep tax increases in the past few years plus an overall weak consumption cycle have impacted demand in the cigarette segment for the company. For the recently concluded quarter, revenues in cigarette segment grew by 3.2% on a YoY (year-on-year) basis to Rs 421 bn.

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Jan 19, 2018 (Close)