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Sensex Recovers to Finish Flat; Oil & Gas Stocks Lead the Gains
Tue, 26 Sep Closing | Karan Janani, TM Team

Indian share markets recouped losses during the afternoon session to finish marginally lower. The benchmark index has finished in red for six consecutive sessions. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex closed lower by 27 points and the NSE Nifty finished down by 18 points. The S&P BSE Mid Cap finished up by 0.4% while S&P BSE Small Cap finished up by 1.1%.

Losses were largely seen in bank stocks and capital goods stocks. Power stocks and energy stocks witnessed majority of the buying momentum.

Asian stock markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.06% and the Hang Seng rose 0.05%. The Nikkei 225 lost 0.33%. European markets are also mixed today. The CAC 40 is up 1.08% while the DAX gains 0.25%. The FTSE 100 is off 0.13%.

The rupee weakened for fourth consecutive sessions to hit fresh six-month low against the US dollar as foreign investors continued to liquidate its holding in local equity markets on weak cues of both domestic as well as global fronts. Rupee was trading at Rs 65.34 against the US$ in the afternoon session.

Oil prices were trading higher at US$ 51.68 at the time of writing.

As per a leading financial daily, the government has initiated an anti-dumping probe on imports of straight length bars and rods of alloy steel from China following complaints from the domestic steel industry.

Six domestic companies, including JSW Steel, Sunflag Iron and Steel, Usha Martin and Gerdau Steel India, had applied with the Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) for initiation of anti-dumping investigation and imposition of the duty on these steel items exported from China.

These steel products are used in various industries like automobiles, cement, power plants, turbines, shipbuilding, railway, capital goods, and construction machinery. The probation period for the current inquiry is 2016-17.

However, for the loss of the domestic industry, the data for 2013-16 will also be taken for scrutiny. India's exports to China were only US$10.17 billion in 2016-17, but imports aggregated US$61.28 billion in 2016-17.

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Anti-dumping duties are levied to provide a level-playing field to the local industry by guarding against cheap below- cost imports. Increasing imports and dumping of goods from China have always been an area of concern for Indian companies. The DGAD is also probing dumping of several other products such as certain chemicals from the neighbouring country.

Steel stocks finished the trading day on a strong note with Jindal Steel & Power share price and Tayo Rolls share price.

Moving on to news from oil & gas sector. GAIL has approached the ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for setting up a 1-million-tonne per annum capacity Greenfield Petrochemical Complex in East Godavari of Andhra Pradesh.

As per The Economic Times, the EAC has recommended permission for preparing terms of reference for preparing required reports regarding the environment management and impact, for the project.

GAIL share price finished the trading day down by 0.2% on the BSE.

In another development, Indian Oil Corporation's (IOC) board has given approval for setting up of a Rs 274.6 billion refinery by its subsidiary, Chennai Petroleum Corporation (CPCL). The board of directors of IOC at the meeting accorded In-principle approval for setting up a new 9 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) refinery at Cauvery Basin, Nagapattinam for carrying out pre-project activities.

Earlier, the board of directors of CPCL had in April this year recommended setting up a new 9 MTPA refinery at an estimated cost of Rs 274.6 billion (with an accuracy of plus-30%). The expansion was subject to the approval of board of IOC, the holding company of CPCL.

IOC share price finished the trading day up by 0.1% on the BSE.

In news from FMCG sector, as per an article in The Livemint, Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) said India's rural growth is yet to recover, highlighting demonetisation and the goods and services tax (GST) as part of a "challenging environment" in the last few quarters.

HUL saw net profit grow 6% and 8% in the quarters ending June 2017 and March 2017 respectively, although profits were flat in the quarter ending December 2016 when demonetisation or the ban of high value currency notes was announced. HUL has said that GST will continue to affect earnings in the coming quarters.

Also, Patanjali seems to have disrupted the FMCG pecking order. The share of Indian households that use the Patanjali brand is estimated at 38%. That's huge for a company barely a decade and a half old. Especially if you consider Patanjali's competition.

Patanjali Disrupts FMCG Pecking Order

In 2016-17, the company posted revenues of more than Rs 100 billion. It has surged past behemoths such as ITC, Nestle India, Britannia Industries, and Dabur to become the second largest pure play FMCG company...second only to HUL.

HUL share price finished down by 2.8% on the BSE. The sentiments also remained negative as Advertisement Standards Council of India the apex body to regulate advertisements to promote fair competition, rejected Hindustan Unilever's objection to the Emami campaign for its Fair & Handsome mens fairness brand variants.

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