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Sensex Ends Higher on RBI's Move; PSU Bank Stocks React
Tue, 4 Oct Closing

Indian share markets continued to trade in green in the late afternoon session after the Monetary Policy Committee decided to reduce the policy repo rate by 25 basis points from 6.5% to 6.25%. The Committee expects that the strong improvement in sowing, along with supply management measures, will improve the food inflation outlook.

At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 91 points, while the NSE Nifty finished up by 31 points. The S&P BSE Mid Cap & the S&P BSE Small Cap finished up by 0.5% and 0.7% respectively. Gains were largely seen in oil & gas and PSU stocks.

Asian markets finished higher today with shares in Japan leading the region. The Nikkei 225 is up 0.83% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng is up 0.45% and China's Shanghai Composite is up 0.21%.

European shares advanced in early trade, with Germany's Deutsche Bank hitting a two-week high on expectations of a swift deal with U.S. authorities over a multi-billion dollar penalty following recent steep losses . Meanwhile, the pound dipped 0.7% to $1.2747 on Tuesday - its lowest level against the US dollar since 1985, while the FTSE 100 was up 1.6% at.

The rupee was trading at 66.56 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 48.73 at the time of writing.

Share price of National Aluminum Company Ltd (Nalco) finished on an encouraging note (up 2.6%) after the company set a capital expenditure (capex) of Rs 10.21 billion for 2016-17. The capex would be used for projects like development of Utkal D&E coal blocks, wind power projects of 50 MW each in Maharashtra and Rajasthan, addition of fifth stream in the existing alumina refinery at Damanjodi, Koraput, a 20 MW solar power project in Madhya Pradesh and other expansion and modernization activities.

The company has completed buyback of shares that was approved by the shareholders in July this year. Post buyback, the paid-up share capital of the company stands reduced to Rs 9.66 billion from Rs 12.88 billion.

Meanwhile, mines secretary of the country has asked Nalco to focus on building more smelters in India to benefit from cheap and abundant electricity supplies rather than pursue overseas expansion. The shift in strategy reflects the government's plan to promote domestic manufacturing, encourage exports of value-added products and curb shipments of minerals.

India may reportedly impose a floor price or raise tax on imports of aluminum to protect the local industry from overseas supplies to the country. Hindalco Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla recently stated the near-term outlook "was challenging" for the commodities' market, particularly the aluminum sector , given structural oversupply and a depressed pricing scenario.

Overcapacity in China has flooded the Indian market with aluminum, leading to a surge in imports in financial year 2015-16. The sharp increase in imports will continue to impact sales . The government raised the import duty on primary aluminum by 2.5% in May 2016 to 7.5%, but this, according to the domestic aluminum lobby, is just not enough.

In another development, the World Bank in its latest report on 'South Asia Economic Focus' has said that India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth will remain strong at 7.6% in 2016 and 7.7% in 2017. This will be supported by expectations of a rebound in agriculture, civil service pay reforms supporting consumption, increasingly positive contributions from exports and a recovery of private investment in the medium term.

Further, it reported that India's economic growth remained robust , which, as compared to the past, is expected to support continued poverty reduction. This year is expected to see some convergence in rural and urban economies, supported by stimulating policies, such as passage of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and civil pay revisions, along with good monsoons.

However, the biannual report said that India faces the challenge of further accelerating the responsiveness of poverty reduction to growth, enforcing inclusion of presently excluded groups (such as women and scheduled tribes), and extending gains to a broader range of human development outcomes related to health, nutrition , education and gender, where the country continues to rank poorly. Further, report also stated that private investment faces several domestic impediments in the form of corporate debt overhang , stress in the financial sector, and regulatory and policy challenges. It said that if these bottlenecks are not relieved, subdued private investment would create downside pressures on India's potential growth.

The report also highlighted that South Asia remains a global growth hotspot and has proven resilient to external headwinds such as China's slowdown and slowing remittances.

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Oct 4, 2016

good efforts

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