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Strong Start to the Week
Mon, 11 Jul Closing

Indian equity markets began the week's trading session on a strong note and closed to their highest level in nearly 11 months tracking a rally in global markets. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex closed higher by 500 points, the NSE Nifty finished higher by 145 points. The S&P BSE Midcap & the S&P BSE Small Cap also finished up by 1.5% and 0.8% respectively. Gains were largely seen in metal and auto stocks.

Asian markets finished broadly higher today. The Nikkei 225 is up 3.98% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng is up 1.54% and China's Shanghai Composite is up 0.23%. European markets are also higher today with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX is up 1.24% while France's CAC 40 is up 0.95% and London's FTSE 100 is up 0.63%.

The rupee was trading at 67.14 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 44.72 at the time of writing.

According to a leading financial daily, Vedanta Resources will invest a total US$1 billion (about Rs 66 billion) in its Gamsberg mine project in South Africa, which is one of the world's largest undeveloped zinc deposits. The company has invested US$150 million and will invest US$200 million each this year and in 2017. After the production starts at the mines, the firm will invest around US$450 million on ramp-ups during 2018 and 2019.

Gamsberg is estimated to have around 160 million tonnes of defined ore (Zinc) resources. Reportedly, Vedanta has already invested around Rs 250 billion in Africa in the last 13 years with a strong presence in Namibia, Zambia and South Africa.

The company's chairman Anil Agarwal was a part of business delegation to South Africa led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He announced that the group will be signing two memorandum of understandings (MoUs) with South African companies.

The MoUs are for the development and supply of equipment and transfer of technology, with an aim to improve safety and productivity at the mechanized underground mines of Vedanta's subsidiary, Hindustan Zinc Ltd.

India's current trade with Africa is around US$75 billion. Besides, India has extended financing of US$7.4 billion for various developmental and capacity building projects over the past four years in Africa. As many as 140 projects have been implemented there by the Indian government and companies. The script of Vedanta surged 3.8% in today's trade.

Moving on to news from automobile sector. According to a data released by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers, domestic passenger vehicle sales grew 2.68% to 223,454 units in June from 217,620 units in the same month last year.

However, car sales were down 5.18% to 154,237 units as against 162,655 units in June last year. Industry numbers were reportedly dragged down by Maruti Suzuki which suffered disruption in production due to fire at vendor Subros' facility.

Sales of commercial vehicles were up 5.63% to 56,032 units in June. Vehicle sales across categories registered a growth of 10.7% to 1,795,894 units from 1,622,254 units in June 2015.

Motorcycle sales last month increased 7.52% to 943,680 units as against 877,690 units a year earlier. Total two-wheeler sales in June grew 12.26% to 1,468,035 units as compared with 1,307,704 units in the year-ago month.

The automobile industry is cyclical. Sales and profit growth depend a lot on how economic growth shapes up. In our recent edition of The 5 Minute Wrap Up Premium, we look at the factors that drive demand for automobiles during an economic slump (Subscription Required).

Automobile stocks finished the day on a strong note with Tata Motors and Mahindra Scooters leading the gains.

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Jul 21, 2017 (Close)

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