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Indian equity markets plunged and finished deep in the red following an announcement that the Indian Army conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads last night across the Line of Control (LoC) in PoK. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood lower by 465 points, while the NSE Nifty finished down by 154 points. Mid-Caps and Small Caps performed the worst. The S&P BSE Mid Cap & the S&P BSE Small Cap finished down by 3.6% and 4.2% respectively. Losses were largely seen in power and realty stocks.
Asian markets finished broadly higher with shares in Japan leading the region. The Nikkei 225 was up 1.39%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 0.51% and China's Shanghai Composite was up 0.36%. European markets are also trading higher today with shares in France leading the region. The CAC 40 was up 1.39%, while London's FTSE 100 was up 1.03% and Germany's DAX was up 0.68%.
The rupee was trading at 66.55 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 46.85 at the time of writing.
According to a leading financial daily, the government has asked state controlled National Aluminum Company Ltd (Nalco) to rethink its expansion plan in Iran. This includes a proposal to set up a US$ 2 billion smelter unit in Iran. The state government has asked Nalco to expand its domestic capacity.
According to mines secretary Balvinder Kumar, value addition should happen in India and the companies should be self-sufficient in aluminum instead of importing by setting up plants overseas . However, the final decision would be taken by Nalco's board on the Iran project.
Earlier in May, the state-owned company had entered into an initial agreement with Iran's mining development body to supply alumina from its refinery in India to set up an aluminum smelter in Iran. NALCO had also explored setting up a 500,000-tonnes-per-year smelter and an associated power plant in the Middle East.
This comes at a time when the Indian government has ruled out imposing minimum import price on aluminum, the total estimated consumption of the metal has increased considerably in the past two financial years. While the domestic metal sale was steady in financial year 2015-16, aluminum imports witnessed an increase of over 20%. Nalco finished the day down by 2.1% on the BSE.
Moving on to news from the automobile sector. According to an article in The Economic Times, manufacturers of electric vehicles have written to the government seeking exemption for their products from goods and services tax (GST). The auto manufacturers fear the new tax system will nullify the benefits that they are now getting.
The manufacturers are concerned that even if electric vehicles are brought into the lowest tax slab, prices would rise and come closer to those of petrol or diesel vehicles, affecting the demand in the market. The finance ministry has indicated that it doesn't favor giving incentives under GST, which combines most indirect taxes into one and is expected to come into effect in April next year.
As per the reports, the tax incentives wouldn't hurt the government since the market for electric cars is still small. SMEV Secretary Sohinder Gill wrote in the letter, highlighting the environmental benefits that faster adoption of electric vehicles could bring.
Excise duty on electric vehicles currently stands at around 6%. Most state governments have put lower VAT on electric vehicles, which ranges from nil to 5%.
Sales of electric vehicles in India are minute at the moment with lack of awareness, financing options and charging infrastructure deterring widespread use. In the first six months of the year, 10,000 electric two-wheelers have been sold in the country. The government has an ambitious target to put on road 6-7 million electric vehicles by 2020 to clamp down on pollution.
And here's a view from our team at DailyProfit Hunter,
Nifty was trading in a rising channel for the last seven months. It has traded religiously within the upper and lower edges of this channel but now it seems like it's on the verge of a breakdown. Markets also clocked its highest ever turnover today which suggests mass exit of the bulls. Bears would be enthused if they see the index trading below today's low. Now whether the index breaches this rising channel or not remains to be seen. If you want to keep a track of it on a regular basis, then you can read the weekly market commentary by the team at Daily Profit Hunter.
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