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Indian Share Market Opens Marginally Positive
Mon, 17 Oct 09:30 am

Major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock market in Singapore and Hong Kong are trading lower by 0.5% each. While, stock market in China is trading marginally higher by 0.2%.

Stock markets in Europe and US ended their previous session on a positive note with benchmark indices in Germany ending their previous session trading higher by 1.6%.

The rupee is currently trading at 66.7 per US$.

Indian stock markets have opened with marginal gains. The BSE Sensex is trading higher by 102 points (up 0.4%) and NSE Nifty is trading higher by 30 points (up 0.3%). Both, BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap are trading higher by 0.2% each.

Major sectoral indices have opened the day in green with stocks from oil & gas sector are witnessing maximum buying interest.

As per an article in Livemint, cement companies generating major revenues from north and central India are expected to report better earnings than their peers who have their prime presence in the southern region.

This is owing to surge in the cement prices in the north and central regions. Thus leading to better realizations for the cement manufacturers. Reportedly, demand traction in roads and highway segment is already visible in these regions due to pre-election spending in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh and a normal monsoon.

Some of the companies operating in this region includes the likes of JK Cement, Shree Cement, Heidelberg Cement, Prism Cement.

Having said that, it is imperative to note that prices of one of their main raw material-petroleum coke (petcoke) is on an increasing trend. Petcoke prices have nearly risen by 80% over the past six months. This could put pressure on the margins and dent realizations.

Further, the cement companies are trading at expensive valuations. We strongly believe that in the long run stock prices adjust to the earnings. In order for this rally to sustain, the demand in the real estate and construction activities needs to pick up.

In another news update, hydropower generation has finally picked up. Hydropower generation grew by 14% YoY in the month of September.

Few of the companies operating in this space includes the likes of SJVN Ltd, National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC).

However, power generation as a whole (including thermal) has remained subdued since the past few months. Generation was down by 0.1% YoY in July. While, it was marginally up by 0.6% in the month of August.

This is partially on account of the bad state of State Electricity Boards or DISCOMs. An uptick in power generation is dependent on the off-takes from the SEBs.

And even after implementation of the UDAY scheme, the situation at SEBs will only improve if they take tariff hikes. While some states have taken tariff hikes recently, many states have yet not taken the same on account of political pressures. Increase in tariff hike does not bode down well with the political parties as it takes a toll on their vote bank.

Further, these SEBs had aggregate technical and commercial losses of 24.6% in 2013-14. And this ratio hasn't improved significantly since then. This means that a major portion of the power that is used is not paid for. Unless these issues are addressed, the situation at the SEBs is not going to change drastically even after implementation of UDAY.

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