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Indian equity markets remained under pressure for the entire trading session today amid mixed international markets. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex closed lower by 54 points, while the NSE Nifty finished lower by 19 points. However, the S&P BSE Midcap & the S&P BSE Small Cap indices gained 0.1% and 0.3% respectively. Losses were largely seen in power and banking stocks.
Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Nikkei 225 gained 1.28% and the Hang Seng rose 0.77%. The Shanghai Composite lost 0.35%. European markets too are mixed. The CAC 40 is higher by 0.14%, while London's FTSE 100 is off 0.30%. Shares in Germany are unchanged.
The rupee was trading at 67.48 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 49.55 at the time of writing.
Power stocks witnessed selling pressure in today's trade with Tata Power and NTPC leading the losses. According to a leading financial daily, Tata Power's subsidiary, Tata Power Renewable Energy Ltd (TPREL) has received the Letter of Intent to develop the 30 MW solar grid connected photovoltaic project and will sign a 25-year power purchase agreement with NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam.
The project has been awarded in the Domestic Content Requirement category under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission Phase-II Batch-III tranche-I under State Specific Bundling Scheme.
This is the third Letter of Intent received by TPREL in recent months and brings the solar bid wins to 145 MW. This move is in line with the Government's set target of 100 GW from solar energy by 2017.
In another development, Power, Coal and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal stated that his ministry will not reduce the government's stake in power sector PSUs below 51%. He also stated that the management and control of the PSUs should remain with the government.
This comes at a time when the government has set a disinvestment target of Rs 565 billion for the fiscal. Of this, Rs 360 billion is to come from minority stake sale in PSUs and Rs 205 billion from strategic sales. The government has already kick-started the disinvestment program for the current fiscal with 11.36% stake sale in NHPC which fetched Rs 27 billion.
Moving on to news from steel sector. According to The Economic Times, India will equal the global per capita consumption of steel in a decade from now. Per capita steel consumption in India stood at 59.4 kg per person in 2014, against a global average of 216.6 kg.
An estimated infrastructure investment of US$ 1 trillion, projected growth in manufacturing at 11-12%, rise in urban population, emergence of rural market for steel buoyed by projects such as Bharat Nirman, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana are prominent ones among them
According to SAIL Chairman PK Singh, the government's 'Housing for all' is a novel initiative that will give impetus to steel demand. In automobiles too, demand is rising for commercial vehicles as well as passenger cars which will further aid the steel sector. He also stated that the country is at a "take-off stage" and all the "requisite ingredients" are in place, only a little push from the government was needed which is now on its way.
The directorate general of foreign trade recently imposed a minimum import price (MIP) on 173 steel products. The prices range from $352 per tonne to $752 per tonne of steel. The MIP has been imposed in order to counter the dumping of cheap Chinese steel and should help the Indian steel companies. Reportedly, steel imports declined by 41% to 0.546 million tonnes in May this year compared to the year-ago period.
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