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Metal stocks find favour
Fri, 2 Sep 01:30 pm

The Indian stock market continued to tread higher over the last two hours of trade due to sustained buying interest in heavyweights. Stocks from the metal, oil and gas and auto space are finding investor favour while those from the software, power and capital goods space are trading weak.

The BSE-Sensex is trading up by 159 points while NSE-Nifty is trading 36 points above Tuesday's closing. The BSE-Midcap index is up by 0.5% while the BSE-Small cap index is trading flat. The rupee is trading at 45.91 to the US dollar.

Auto stocks have been trading mixed with Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M), TVS Motors and Force Motors leading the pack of gainers. However, Escorts and Maruti Suzuki are trading weak. As per a leading financial daily, Bajaj Auto has started assembling two-wheelers and three-wheelers in Tanzania at Mikocheni. The plant is expected to create 500 direct jobs in the country. The company aims to boost its presence in the African market. Till now, it has been supplying two and three-wheelers in semi knocked down form. However, now it has plans to invest US$ 20 m in the Tanzania assembly plant and aims to double exports in the next 2-3 years in Africa. It has also increased presence in Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Angola. It is important to note here that last year, Africa and Middle East contributed 48% of Bajaj Auto's overall exports, with Africa as the largest contributor. The stock is trading in the green.

Energy stocks have been trading mixed as well with Gujarat State Petronet, Reliance Industries and Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) leading the pack of gainers. However, Chennai Petroleum, Essar Oil and Gujarat Gas are trading weak. As per a leading financial daily, Indraprastha Gas (IGL) has increased the price of natural gas supplies through pipes to households for cooking purpose. The company will now be selling gas at Rs 22 per standard cubic meter (scm) for consumption up to 30 scm in two months and Rs 34 per scm beyond consumption of 30 units in Delhi and adjoining towns. The new prices have been in effect since September 1, 2011. Previously, the price of piped natural gas (PNG) in Delhi was Rs 18.95 per scm for consumption up to 45 scm in two months and 26 per scm beyond consumption of 45 scm in two months. Going forward, IGL has considerable expansion plans both for increasing its network in the NCT region as well as expanding its presence to contiguous areas such as the National Capital Region. The stock of the company is trading firm.

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Feb 20, 2018 (Close)