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Energy Stocks Gather Steam
Wed, 24 Aug Closing

After trading flat in the noon session, Indian equity markets gathered some momentum in the final hour of trading and finished above the dotted line amid mixed global markets. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex closed higher by 70 points, the NSE Nifty finished higher by 18 points. Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Midcap & the S&P BSE Small Cap finished up by 0.6% and 0.7% respectively. Gains were largely seen in pharma and energy stocks.

Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Nikkei 225 gained 0.61%, while the Hang Seng & the Shanghai Composite fell 0.77% and 0.12% respectively. European markets are mixed today. The CAC 40 is up 0.58% while the DAX gains 0.36%. The FTSE 100 is off 0.18%.

The rupee was trading at 67.13 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 47.31 at the time of writing.

Shares of ONGC closed higher by 1.1% in today's trade after the company awarded a multi-million dollar frame agreement to US energy giant GE Oil & Gas. As per the reports in The Economic Times, GE Oil & Gas will support ONGC's exploratory drilling campaign in shallow to medium waters for a period of three years.

GE will reportedly provide an estimated 55 subsea wellheads (SG5) over three years for the operator's offshore drilling campaign. GE has supplied ONGC with subsea production equipment for more than 30 years, including large-sized conductors, subsea wellheads and subsea trees for its offshore drilling and completion projects.

This collaboration will improve the energy supply capabilities through the discovery of new fields offshore.

ONGC is planning to keep capital spending in 2016-17 at about Rs 290 billion as against Rs 310 billion last fiscal. The company has also firmed up a US$5 billion plan to develop its deep sea assets in the KG basin off the eastern coast.

In another development, ONGC Videsh, the overseas subsidiary of ONGC has received one-year extension to explore a Vietnamese oil block in the contested waters of the South China Sea. This is the fourth extension for the company to explore Block-128.

The company has so far invested US$ 50.88 million in the block. The block lies in the part of South China Sea over which China claims sovereignty. In 2011, Beijing had warned ONGC Videsh that its exploration activities off the Vietnam coast were illegal and violated China's sovereignty, but the company continued exploring for oil and gas.

ONGC Videsh continues to own 45% stake in Vietnam's offshore Block 6.1 and its share of production was 2.023 billion cubic metres of gas and 0.036 million tonnes of condensate.

Moving on to news from steel sector. India's crude steel production grew 8.1% in July compared to the corresponding period a year ago. However, global production witnessed a marginal growth of 1.4%. India's output stood at 8.1 million tonnes (mt), while it was 133.7 mt globally, despite not-so-strong demand in the domestic market.

China's crude steel production for July was 66.8 MT, an increase of 2.6% compared to July 2015. Elsewhere in Asia, Japan produced 8.9 MT, an increase of 0.5% compared to July 2015 as per the data released by World Steel.

Steel capacity utilization ratio of the 66 countries in July 2016 stood at 68.3%, which is the same as in July 2015.

Recently, Moody's stated that the steel demand in India will outpace the regional average while profitability of domestic steel companies will outperform regional peers on account of increase in domestic demand. The report also highlighted the profitability of Indian steel companies such as Tata Steel and JSW Steel will outperform that of regional peers.

Since last few months several measures have been put in place by several countries to protect their steel industries with India being no exception. India has notified anti- dumping duty on hot-rolled and cold-rolled products recently replacing minimum import price (MIP) to address the concerns of the primary steel producers.

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Nov 23, 2017 (Close)