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Lackluster Day of Trading
Wed, 13 Jul Closing

Indian equity markets began the day's proceedings on a flat note and remained range bound through the entire trading session today. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex closed higher by 7 points, the NSE Nifty finished lower by 2 points. Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Midcap & the S&P BSE Small Cap finished down by 0.5% and 0.8% respectively. Gains were largely seen in metal and IT stocks, while stocks from realty and power space witnessed selling activity.

Asian markets finished higher today with shares in Japan leading the region. The Nikkei 225 was up 0.84%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.46% and China's Shanghai Composite was up 0.37%. European markets are also trading higher today with shares in France leading the gains. The CAC 40 is up 0.28%, while London's FTSE 100 is up 0.28% and Germany's DAX is up 0.04%.

The rupee was trading at 67.20 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 46.18 at the time of writing.

According to a leading financial daily, The Indian Hotels Company has completed sale of its Taj Boston hotel for US$ 125 million (about Rs 8.39 billion). Net sale proceeds will be utilized largely to retire outstanding debt.

The hotel will continue to be operated and managed by IHMS (USA) LLC, which has entered into a management services agreement with the new owning company, thus ensuring continuity of Taj's presence in the Boston market.

Earlier this year, Indian Hotels had reportedly authorized the present management of the company for the sale of the Taj Boston.

As per the reports, net loss before tax for the Boston hotel widened to US$ 7.3 million in 2015-16 as against US$ 6.7 million in 2014-15. Taj Boston's total revenue in 2015-16 dipped 1.15% to US$ 34.1 million from US$ 34.5 million in 2014-15.

Indian Hotels Company had acquired Taj Boston Hotel in 2006. The company recognized the importance of the need of presence of brand Taj in the US, which is the single largest source market for the company.

However, global economic recession impacted fortunes of the hospitality sector around the world and its profitability as well. The company reported 9.6% YoY increase in sales and a loss of Rs 605 m in FY16 (Subscription Required).

The Indian Hotels Co. Ltd finished the day down by 0.4% on the BSE.

Moving on to news from the oil & gas sector. According to an article in the Livemint, India's demand for oil in the first three months of financial year FY17 grew at the fastest pace for any first quarter period in the past 10 years.

As per the reports, India consumed 48.5 million tons of oil products in the quarter, an increase of 7.8% from the same period a year ago. That's the fastest since the first quarter of the year ended March 2007, when growth was 8.4%. Diesel consumption expanded 4.7% to 20.1 million tons and gasoline use increased 10% to 5.9 million tons.

India is expected to lead the world in oil demand and surpass Japan as the world's third-largest oil user this year. It will be the fastest-growing crude consumer in the world through 2040 according to the International Energy Agency. The agency also estimates India will add 6 million barrels a day of demand, compared with 4.8 million for China.

The growth in consumption has a cyclical element to it with the first quarter being slower than the other three in a year. In the previous three quarters, demand climbed at least 11%.

Energy stocks finished the day on an encouraging note with ONGC and Chennai Petroleum leading the gains.

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Jan 19, 2018 (Close)