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Markets Finish Strong
Fri, 5 Aug Closing

Indian stock markets witnessed a strong session today. The indices began the day on a positive note. Strong buying activity throughout the session led the indices to scale higher in subsequent hours. The momentum was sustained in the final hour of trade as well and the indices closed well above the dotted line. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 364 points, while the NSE Nifty closed higher by 132 points. The S&P BSE Mid Cap and S&P BSE Small Cap indices closed the day higher by 1.7% and 1.5% respectively. Gains were largely seen in auto, energy and metal stocks.

Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Hang Seng gained 1.44%, while China's Shanghai Composite was off 0.19%. Shares in Japan were unchanged with the Nikkei 225 was flat. European markets are trading broadly higher today with shares in London leading the region. The FTSE 100 is up 1.9%, while France's CAC 40 is up 0.51% and Germany's DAX is up 0.14%.

The rupee was trading at 66.81 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 41.52 at the time of writing.

As per an article in The Economic Times, coal price soared to its highest level at almost 20% in 17 months in the aftermath of China's decision to raise imports.

Reportedly, low coal prices urged China to switch from being a producer to importer. In addition to China, other producing countries like Australia, Indonesia, and Colombia have begun lowering their coal outputs.

Notably, coal prices began climbing after the Chinese government laid off some 800,000 workers in the coal and steel industries. This reform by the world's largest coal producer has since strongly affected the commodity's price movements.

In June, China raised its imports by 21.8 million tonnes. On the other hand, its production was cut down by 400 million tonnes. Moreover, Indonesia too reduced production by some 50 million tonnes due to weakening of demand last year.

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 WrapUp Premium, we looked at the impact of the Act on various mining and metal companies (Subscription Required).

Moving on to the news from the oil & gas sector. According to an article in a leading financial daily, Oil India Ltd and Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) Ltd paid a total of Rs 14.5 billion to the Assam government as royalty dues on crude oil mined in the state.

As per the reports, Oil India paid Rs 11.5 billion, while ONGC paid Rs 3 billion to Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

This was referring to the ministry's 2008 order asking oil companies to pay 20% royalty on the discounted price at which they sold crude to state refiners as part of the oil subsidy regime. This impacted the revenues of producing states Assam and Gujarat. States insisted that royalty ought to be computed on the basis of the pre-discount price.

Shortly after the BJP formed the government, the ministry ordered ONGC and Oil India to pay Assam royalty at pre-discounted rates retrospectively from February 2014.

Apparently, payment was the responsibility of the national oil companies at a time when Assam was reeling from floods. As per the law, full royalty has to be paid to Assam for the oil explored in the region.

Reportedly, the money raised will be utilized for the people of Assam struggling through difficult times.

ONGC and Oil India finished the trading day up by 2.5% & 1.4% respectively on the BSE.

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Jan 16, 2018 02:53 PM