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Sensex Ends Day up 260 Points; Pharma Stocks Top Gainers
Fri, 22 Jun Closing | Parth Parekh, TM Team

After opening the day in red, share markets in India witnessed positive trading activity throughout the day and ended the day on a positive note. Sectoral indices traded on a mixed note, with stocks in the pharma sector and stocks in the banking sector, leading the gains.

At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 257 points (up 0.6%) and the NSE Nifty closed up by 81 points (up 0.7%). The BSE Mid Cap index ended the day up 0.5%, while the BSE Small Cap index ended the day up by 0.1%.

The rupee was trading at Rs 67.82 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 73.8 at the time of writing.

Asian stock markets finished mixed. As of the most recent closing prices, the Hang Seng was up by 0.2% and the Shanghai Composite was up by 0.5%. The Nikkei 225 was down by 0.8%. Meanwhile, European markets, were trading on a positive note. The FTSE 100 was up by 0.8%, The DAX, was up 0.5% while the CAC 40 was up by 0.8%

In news from the oil and gas space. In the bi-annual meeting of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which begins today, the oil cartel seems to be on the brink of raising oil supply as de-facto leader Saudi Arabia looked to have convinced arch-rival Iran to cooperate over production policy.

Also note that rising crude oil prices not only affect fuel prices, but also has many other repercussions for the Indian economy.

Saudi Arabia, and non-member Russia have been urging suppliers to ramp up production by about 1 million barrels per day (bpd) after 18 months of tight output controls. The proposal had become a near-consensus among the 14-member group and its allied partners, but Iran has so far been the main barrier to an agreement.

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India, on its end pitched for 'responsible' crude pricing by OPEC, as petrol and diesel prices rose domestically.

Oil prices have been rising steadily post the output controls adopted by oil producing nations.

Rising crude oil prices not only affect fuel prices, but also have many other repercussions for the Indian economy.

They can be a big worry for the Modi government as well.

While having a direct financial impact on foreign reserves. Rising crude prices would put a burden on energy subsidies as well.

Rising Oil Prices Could Burden Energy Subsidies

The country's energy subsidy burden has come down over the past few years. As per a report by the International Institute of Sustainable Development, the value of energy subsidies the central government doled out declined by 38%, from Rs 2.17 trillion to Rs 1.35 trillion between FY 14 - 16.

During this period, India lowered its overall subsidy bill with a steep 70% cut in Oil and Gas subsidies.

The factors that partially made it possible were

  1. Significant slide in global crude prices
  2. The government's reforms such as direct benefit transfer scheme for LPG and targeted kerosene subsidy.

Although subsidies given to the renewable segment have risen four folds, it still constitutes a miniscule 6.9% of the overall energy subsidies. This means that the lion's share of subsidies still favour fossil fuels rather than renewable sources.

However, electricity remains inaccessible to a sizeable population, and fossil fuel still dominates the energy mix in the country.

With rising oil prices, there will be increasing pressure to dole out more subsidies to keep the prices in check.

Moving on to news from stocks in the steel sector. JSW Steel share price was in focus today after the steel major announced plans for new investments.

The company said that it planned for an investment of US$500 million in acquiring, enhancing & upgrading Acero Junction Inc in the US.

Acero Junction Inc is an integrated steel manufacturing unit with a potential capacity of 3 million tonne per annum (MTPA), located at Ohio in the US.

The company had in March announced plans to pump in US$500 million to modernise its Texas unit.

The latest development will push the company's overall investment in the US to north of US$1 billion.

JSW Steel share price ended the day up by 1.2%.

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