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Sensex Continues to Rise; Realty & Metal Stocks Shine
Tue, 18 Oct 01:30 pm

Indian share markets continued to witness strong buying activity in the noon session amid resilient global markets. Barring oil & gas sector, all the sectoral indices are trading in green.

The BSE Sensex is trading higher by 314 points and the NSE Nifty is trading higher by 88 point. The BSE Mid Cap index & the BSE Small Cap index is up by 1.2% and 1% respectively. The rupee is trading at 66.82 to the US$.

Shares of Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) are trading on an optimistic note (up 0.7%) after the company's electric arm, Mahindra Electric is reportedly planning to manufacture and sell electric vehicles (EVs) in China. The company has been selling EVs in India and the United Kingdom, and also supplies parts to other EV makers. The Chinese population has been taking a strong preference for electric, fuel-celled and hybrid vehicles, which has caught the attention of automakers from around the world.

Mahindra is currently searching for a company for a joint venture in China. In order to avail tax benefits on EVs in China and bypass the 25% custom tax that is levied on imported cars, Mahindra needs to have a local manufacturing partner.

The company currently sells the newly launched e-Verito sedan in India along with the e2o small car that it had also launched in the United Kingdom earlier this year. The company had also revealed in July that it will launch no less than two new products by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, Ashok Leyland recently unveiled India's first Circuit electric bus. Designed and engineered entirely in India, the bus is launched as a zero emission vehicle created specifically for Indian road and load conditions.

The bus is introduced in lines with National Electric Mobility Plan which aims at a 20% penetration of electric/hybrid vehicles by 2020. Apart from zero tailpipe emissions and lower noise pollution the bus offers reduced running costs to the operator.

Moving on to news from stocks in mining sector. According to a leading financial daily, Coal India (CIL), is planning to put up more coal for e-auctions. Even as global coking coal, prices crossed US$190-a-tonne mark recently, CIL decided not to increase its prices, to remain competitive and become a substitute to imports.

This festival season, Coal India will reportedly put up 20 million tonnes (mt) coal for e-auction, where both the regulated and the non-regulated sectors, including traders, will be able to participate. Coking coal constitutes a third of steel sector's total costs. The volatile global coking coal prices are straining the balance sheets of steel companies in the country.

Meanwhile, CIL sees sales picking up in the coming days as the onset of winters in northern India would mean an increase in power consumption.

Production growth at Coal India was flat in the first half of 2016-17 although the company achieved 90% of its targets. Despite a marginal fall in sales, it achieved 88% of its sales target for the period. CIL managed to produce 230 MT of coal and sold around 249 MT during the period, thereby reducing stocks by some 19 MT.

Over the past several weeks, power producers have reportedly been refusing to lift additional coal from pit heads. As a result, coal stocks at power plants hit a low of 16 days against 22 days during the same time last year. Share price of Coal India is trading up by 0.8% in the afternoon session.

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