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Markets Finish Firm
Thu, 8 Sep Closing

Indian equity markets finished on a firm note as buying activity gained momentum in the afternoon session. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 119 points, while the NSE Nifty finished up by 35 points. The S&P BSE Mid Cap & the S&P BSE Small Cap finished up by 0.2% and 0.8% respectively. Gains were largely seen in Realty & <>pharma stocks.

Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Hang Seng gained 0.75% and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.13%. The Nikkei 225 lost 0.32%. European markets are trading mixed. The FTSE 100 is higher by 0.46%, while the DAX is leading the CAC 40 lower. They are down 0.24% and 0.05% respectively.

The rupee was trading at 66.45 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 46.31 at the time of writing.

According to a leading financial daily, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) and ride-sharing firm Ola have formed an alliance. The joint venture will see M&M earn US$400 million in revenue over the next two years by selling cars and services to Ola. In return, Ola will gain access to a one-stop-shop for vehicles and services for its drivers.

The association of both the companies is not new. In October last year, Ola had got into an agreement with Mahindra First Choice Services, a part of M&M to offer maintenance services at discounted rate for the drivers associated with Ola.

Meanwhile, according to an article in The Economic Times, M&M will manufacture electric cars, license out electric vehicle technologies, electrify new and existing platforms and help deliver integrated zero emission mobility solutions under the brand Mahindra Electric.

The company, which currently sells electric models like e20 and Verito, plans to launch an electric version of its minivan Supro in the next 2-3 months. Mahindra is expected to power some of its new and existing vehicles with the latest electric drivetrain technology from Mahindra Electric. The company also plans to foray into Chinese market.

With the FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles in India) scheme, the government has already set in motion a conducive environment which has led the company to expect a faster adoption of electric vehicles in the country. M&M finished the day down by 0.2% on the BSE.

Moving on to news from the oil & gas sector. According to an article in The Financial Express, Cairn India and ONGC will get a 10-year extension for the Barmer oil and gas block in Rajasthan beyond 2020, when the current production-sharing contract (PSC) ends. The Barmer block is the biggest onshore oil producing project in India and its current output hovers around 166,943 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

The extension comes with a notice that the explorer would have to share 10% additional "profit petroleum" during the extended duration. Profit petroleum is the main source of revenue for the government from a hydrocarbon block.

As per the reports, the Vedanta Group, which owns majority of Cairn India, has chalked out Rs 23.64 billion towards profit petroleum in FY16 on a consolidated basis. A chunk of it would be towards hydrocarbon output from Barmer block. The consolidated profit petroleum shared in FY15 stood at a little over Rs 47.34 billion.

In another development, ONGC's quarterly profit declined 21% as oil prices slumped and output fell. Total income of the company decreased by 20.2% to Rs 187.37 billion for quarter under review as compared to Rs 234.91 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2015.

ONGC is key to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's goal of increasing the nation's energy security and reducing import dependence by 10% in the next six years. Declining earnings will weigh on ONGC's plans to invest billions of dollars to develop oilfields and boost output from aging fields.

As per the reports, ONGC's total oil output fell to 6.34 million tons in the first quarter from 6.48 million tons a year ago, while gas production slipped 5.6% to 5.49 billion cubic meters.

Oil & Gas stocks finished on a mixed noted with Petronet LNG and Reliance Industries leading the gains.

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Mar 16, 2018 (Close)