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Indian equity markets came under pressure in the final hours of trade and finished on a negative note amid weak European markets. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood lower by 71 points, while the NSE Nifty finished down by 17 points. The S&P BSE Mid Cap & the S&P BSE Small Cap finished up by 0.1% respectively. Losses were largely seen in capital goods and oil & gas stocks.
Asian markets finished broadly higher today with shares in Hong Kong leading the region. The Hang Seng is up 1.09% while Japan's Nikkei 225 is up 0.84% and China's Shanghai Composite is up 0.60%. Meanwhile, European markets are lower today with shares in Germany off the most. The DAX is down 0.99% while France's CAC 40 is off 0.58% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 0.36%.
The rupee was trading at 66.46 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 45.39 at the time of writing.
Majority of the automobile stocks finished with negative bias with Tata Motors DVR and Maruti Suzuki leading the losses. According to a leading financial daily, Tata Motors has entered into the Bolivian commercial vehicles market through a distribution agreement with Bolivian Auto Motors. Bolivian Auto Motors are a part of the business group Salvatierra.
Tata Motors has launched three commercial vehicles in the Bolivian market namely Tata SuperAce Petrol, Tata Xenon Petrol and Tata LPT 613 truck through this partnership. All of the vehicles will be available in Santa Cruz and later in La Paz and Cochabamba.
Besides Bolivia, Tata Motors also sells its commercial vehicles in other South American markets such as Chile and Ecuador.
In another development, Moody's Investors Service has upgraded Tata Motors' corporate family rating to Ba1 from Ba2. It has also upgraded the company's senior unsecured instrument ratings to Ba1 from Ba2, on the company's continued strong performance by Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Plc (JLR).
As per Livemint, JLR accounted for around one half of Tata Motors' group volumes in FY2016, but it generated more than 82% of group revenues and over 86% of group EBITDA. Moody's expects JLR to continue to increase the group's revenue with its broadening product range, its strengthening geographic diversity and the expected diversification in its manufacturing footprint outside the UK.
The stock price of Tata Motors has appreciated 17% since the beginning of the September quarter.
Moving on to news from energy sector. As per an article in The Economic Times, Cairn India will be taking up exploratory and appraisal drilling of ten wells in the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh. The investment outlay of the project will be US$ 150 million.
In a bid to explore hydrocarbon reserves in the region, the company plans to drill 3 hydrocarbon wells under the first phase by 2017 and plans to expand its exploration activities gradually. Total area of the block is 9,416.54 sq km. Out of this, approx 4,000 sq km has been declared as no-go area as restriction on drilling activity has been imposed.
Reportedly, the exploration of hydrocarbons in the country will boost the petroleum and natural gas based products. Thereby creating the demand for oilfield services in the country. Moreover, if production operations start after successful exploration and appraisal, local employment would be possible.
In line with softening the global trend, this will be the fourth reduction in last 18 months. Moreover, price of natural gas produced from existing fields is likely to fall to US$2.45 per million British thermal units as against the US$3.06 currently. The gas price was last slashed on April 1 to US$ 3.06, from US$ 3.82. On October 1 last year, the price of natural gas was lowered to US$3.82, from US$4.66.
In oil & gas sector, government is looking to merge 13 state oil companies to create a giant corporation. The idea is that the creation of such a giant firm will catapult India into a much bigger league. Whether this highly ambitious plan will be successfully executed is a big question.
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