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A Volatile Day of Trading
Wed, 22 Jun Closing

The Indian equity markets witnessed volatility throughout the day and ended marginally in the red to finish their session. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex closed lower by 47 points, the NSE Nifty finished lower by 16 points. The S&P BSE Midcap & the S&P BSE Small Cap lost 0.1% and 0.6% respectively. Losses were largely seen in auto and FMCG stocks.

Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.94% and the Hang Seng rose 0.61%. The Nikkei 225 lost 0.64%. European markets are trading higher today with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX is up 0.40%, while France's CAC 40 is up 0.18% and London's FTSE 100 is up 0.17%.

The rupee was trading at 67.58 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 50.45 at the time of writing.

Shares of Siemens Ltd finished the trading day on a positive note (up 0.2%) after it was reported that the company has won an order worth Rs 830 million from the Indian Railways' Diesel Locomotive Works. The order is to design, supply and install 40 alternating current (AC) traction systems for dual-cab high horsepower diesel engine locomotives.

The AC traction systems will be produced at Siemens' Nashik factory in Maharashtra. The systems have been developed based on the insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBTs) technology. The advent of IGBTs has yielded strong efficiency gains in electric drive technology.

This news comes at a time when Siemens recently signed an agreement with Spain's Gamesa to combine their wind energy businesses to create the world's biggest builder of windfarms. Siemens has struggled to turn its wind energy business profitable and its business in India, through its listed subsidiary, is an inexperienced one. Siemens will hive off its wind energy business and merge it with Gamesa. Siemens will hold 59% stake in the merged entity, while Gamesa will hold the balance 41%.

Engineering stocks finished the day with negative bias. TRF Ltd and Punj Lloyd led the losses.

The engineering industry in India has grown tremendously over the years. But that growth has been marked by extreme volatility. Over the last eight years, the sector has seen numbers ranging from an output growth of 48% YoY in one year, to a contraction of 6% YoY in another. In our recent edition of The 5 Minute WrapUp Premium, we have discussed the factors one should look for when picking an engineering stock (Subscription Required).

Moving on to news from the mining sector. According to a leading financial daily, Coal India's (CIL's) first tranche of linkage auction for the non-regulated sponge iron sector posted a booking of 2.05 million tonne (MT) against the offer of 3.78 million tonne. The booking has been done for a contract period of 5 years, which can be extended to 10 years with mutual agreement between the supplier and taker.

A total of 23.75 MT of coal has been put on the block for FY17 for auctioning of linkage to all consumers belonging to the non-regulated sector, of which only 3.78 MT was offered exclusively for sponge iron. Booking for sponge iron was 55% of the quantity offered. The next linkage auction would reportedly be for the cement sector where an offer of 2.15 MT would be made.

Non-regulated sector consumers account for approximately 25% of CIL's entire off-take and this includes captive power plants, cement plants, sponge-iron plants, fertilizer, chemical and many other industrial units. Coal India finished the day up by 1.2% on the BSE.

Meanwhile, the government has decided to allot 16 coal blocks to state utilities for commercial use by August. Eight blocks will be awarded to state utilities within the state, while the remaining eight will be allotted to state utilities other than those in the host state.

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