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Sensex Remains Flat, IT & Banking Stocks Underperform
Wed, 5 Oct 01:30 pm

Indian share markets are trading flat with negative bias during the post-noon trading session amid weak Asian markets. Sectoral indices are trading mixed with stocks from realty & metal sector are leading the gains. While, banking & IT stocks are trading lower.

The BSE Sensex is trading lower by 73 points (down 0.3%) while the NSE Nifty is trading down by 15 points (down 0.2%). The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 0.3% and BSE Small Cap index is trading up by 0.5%. Gold prices, per 10 grams, are trading at Rs 29,972 levels. Silver price, per kilogram is trading at Rs 42,808 levels. Crude oil is trading at Rs 3,290 per barrel. The rupee is trading at 66.53 to the US$.

Stocks from oil & gas sector are trading on a mixed note with Mahanagar Gas Ltd and ONGC leading the losses. As per an article in The Economic Times, the government has hiked the price of petrol by Rs 0.14 per litre and that of diesel by Rs 0.10 per litre, following the increase in commission paid to dealers. Consequently, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOC) decided to enforce the following price changes w.e.f. midnight of October 4.

Reportedly, the consumers of petrol will have to face a second petrol price hike in less than a week. The hike comes on the back of a 37 paise increase in petrol rate effected on October 1. Diesel price on that day was cut by 8 paise a litre. Notably, the fuel prices were last revised as on September 30, when petrol was made more expensive by 28 paise per litre while diesel was made cheaper by 6 paise per litre.

However, the diesel prices have also been increased by 10 paise. Petrol will now cost Rs 64.7 a litre in Delhi and diesel Rs 52.6 per litre. The increase will marginally vary in other states due to difference in tax rates.

Normally, IOC, Bharat Petroleum Corp and Hindustan Petroleum Corp revise rates of the fuels on the 1st and 16th of every month based on the average oil price and foreign exchange rate in the preceding fortnight. Apparently, the current level of international product prices of petrol and diesel and currency exchange rate warrant increase in price of petrol and diesel, the impact of which is being passed on to the consumers with this price revision, the reports noted.

Meanwhile, IOC plans to invest Rs 180 billion to raise capacity of its Panipat refinery in Haryana to 25 million tonnes by 2020. The pipeline carries crude oil from west coast to the refinery. This capacity will be expanded to 20.2 million tonnes as planned earlier or go straight to 25 million tonnes, the company stated.

As per the reports, the expansion would meet rising demand in eastern India, particularly in Bihar, Jharkhand and eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Moving on to news from stocks in metal sector. Shares of steel companies were trading higher in early trade today after the government announced the extension of the minimum import price (MIP) on 66 steel products.

Continuing its protectionist measures to support the domestic steel industry, the extension of MIP was approved on 66 steel products by another two months till 4 December. The MIP ranges between US$ 341-752 per tonne. The 66 products include semi-finished products of iron or non-alloyed steel, flat-rolled products of different widths, bars and rods.

It must be noted that, to save the domestic steel industry from cheap imports, especially from China, the government had imposed MIP on 173 types of steel products for a period of six months in February. The government in August extended MIP on 66 steel products for a period of two months as against 173 items earlier. Consequently, the steel companies had reached out to the government to extend the support on imports to safeguard the domestic industry.

However, the most prominent question is if the market supply is higher than demand, whether the extension of MIP significantly help the steel industry (Subscription Required) will be the key thing to watch out for going ahead.

According to Indian Steel Association, post the imposition of MIP in February, the industry has been able to marginally improve viability after a long period of subdued prices and eroded profit margins.

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Mar 22, 2018 (Close)