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After trading flat in the morning session, Indian equity markets gathered steam in the afternoon session and finished well above the dotted line amid firm European markets. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex closed higher by 127 points, the NSE Nifty finished higher by 46 points. Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Midcap & the S&P BSE Small Cap finished up by 0.5% and 0.7% respectively. Gains were largely seen in consumer durables and banking stocks.
Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Hang Seng gained 1.12% and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.95%. The Shanghai Composite lost 0.22%. European markets are broadly higher today with shares in Germany leading the region. The DAX is up 1.36% while France's CAC 40 is up 0.99% and London's FTSE 100 is up 0.82%.
The rupee was trading at 66.91 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 45.23 at the time of writing.
Shares of National Aluminum Company Limited (NALCO) finished the trading day on an optimistic note (up 2.9%) after it was reported that the company has been granted Pottangi Bauxite Mines, in Koraput district of Odisha.
The Pottangi mines with about 70 million tonnes of bauxite reserve would reportedly feed Nalco's proposed refinery project of one million-tonne-capacity at Damanjodi. The company's 2,275,000-tonne alumina refinery is located at Damanjodi. Nalco has been granted the mining lease of Pottangi with an area covering 1,738 hectares for 50 years as per the recent order issued by Department of Steel and Mines, Odisha government.
Nalco has already got Utkal D and E coal blocks. Nalco's expansion plans, including the proposed addition of 5th stream in its existing alumina refinery at an investment of Rs 56 billion, greatly depended on this additional source of bauxite.
After much deliberation and delay, the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 had been recently revised and Rajya Sabha approved the amended Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Bill, 2016. In a recent edition of The 5 Minute Wrap Up Premium, we looked at the impact of the Act on various mining and metal companies (Subscription Required).
Moving on to news from automobile sector. According to a leading financial daily, Ashok Leyland has bagged orders for 3,566 buses from various state transport undertakings (STU's) for FY17. The company's share in the domestic bus market went up to 35.9% as against 33.2% in the same quarter a year ago in the first quarter of 2016-17 as the company hopes to consolidate its position. Reportedly, the order will add anywhere between Rs 4.5-6 billion to the company's revenue.
Sales to STUs account for about 30% of the company's total volume. Last fiscal, Ashok Leyland had a market share of 44% in the overall domestic bus market, which was around 41,000 units.
Besides, the company has to reportedly deliver 2,000-odd buses under the JNNURM scheme by March 2017 as per government instructions to STUs. The demand from STUs comes on the back of the central government providing support through schemes like JNNURM, fleet modernization programs and their partnerships with private operators.
Ashok Leyland finished the day up by 0.8% on the BSE. Ashok Leyland has seen its stock go up an impressive 23% in the past one year (Subscription Required).
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