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Indian Indices Continue Downtrend; Realty Stocks Top Losers
Mon, 25 Sep 01:30 pm | Prasheel Vartak, TM Team

After opening the day lower, share markets in India have continued the downtrend and are currently trading below the dotted line. Sectoral indices are trading on a negative note with stocks in the realty sector and stocks in the metal sector leading the losses.

The BSE Sensex is trading down by 363 points (down 1.1%), and the NSE Nifty is trading down by 120 points (down 1.2%). Meanwhile, the is trading down by 1.5%, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading down by 2.6% The rupee is trading at 64.83 to the US$.

In news from stocks in the FMCG sector. Herbal products major, Dabur announced a tie-up with US based e-commerce giant Amazon to set up an online ayurveda marketplace.

Through this portal the company aims to strengthen its presence in the fast-growing space of natural and herbal consumer products.

The online store will sell ayurveda brands, while offering consumers insights into the medicinal properties of ayurvedic products for treating various ailments

Dabur will take the lead on the content, while rival ayurveda brands listed with Amazon will be part of the marketplace.

Products by competitors - Himalaya and the Baba Ramdev-promoted Patanjali Ayurved would also feature on the web marketplace.

However, Dabur will get prime visibility with branding and banners on the e-store.

Last year, Patanjali products, Ramdev outlined plans to set up an online platform (Chikitsalaya) for ayurvedic consultation and treatment. It already has an e-commerce portal for its ayurvedic offerings.

Herbal Products in Focus

India's herbal and natural products market is on course to grow to about Rs 520 billion by 2020. To grab a slice of the growing market, FMCG majors such as HUL, Colgate-Palmolive, Garnier, Dabur, Emami, and Himalaya have raised the pitch in the past year.

Traditionally ayurvedic brands - Dabur and Himalaya - have also launched several new products in the herbal space.

With such intense competition and incumbents vying for market supremacy, India's FMCG space will be exciting to watch the next few years.

At the time of writing, Dabur share price was trading down by 0.3%.

Moving on to news from the steel sector. India's total export of finished steel in August jumped 36 per cent to 0.9 million tonne (mt), official data showed.

In the same month last year, the corresponding figure was 0.7 mt.

During April-August of 2017-18, the export of finished steel went up 57.1% to 3.7 mt, from 2.4 mt in the year-ago period.

However, imports too were higher. The import during last month at 0.9 mt was higher by 62% yoy. The import of finished steel during April-August came in at 3.5 mt, up 15.9%t, as against 2.9 mt in the previous year.

India was a net importer of total finished steel in August 2017, but maintained its net exporter status for the cumulative period, i.e. April-August 2017

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India has become a net exporter of steel in 2016-17 as imports fell gradually.

Several measures, including the government's infrastructure push, along with 'Make in India' and other initiatives are set to bode well for the sector.

However, the government has consistently resorted to protectionist measures as regards the steel sector, to protect steel companies from international competition.

India's steel imports dropped 36% in 2016-17 to 7.4 million tonnes (MT). Meanwhile, steel exports in 2016-17 registered a growth of 102%. But, the steel makers are chasing imports out by ramping up production. In the April-May period, domestic steel output rose as large private steel producers such as Tata Steel and JSW Steel ramped up output.

The quantum jump in exports comes as the government is providing extensive support to the domestic steel industry by way of trade remedial measures, including anti-dumping.

But the bigger concern is weak consumption growth. The consumption data over the past few months clearly show that there are no takers for domestic steel.

We do not think the trend is sustainable. And unless domestic consumption picks up, steel producers may have to take price cuts to utilize their capacities.

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