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Sensex Finishes in Red, Energy & Realty Stocks Continue to Fall
Thu, 3 Nov Closing

Indian share markets came under pressure in the afternoon session and finished below the dotted line tracking a mixed trend in global markets. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood lower by 97 points, while the NSE Nifty finished down by 29 points. Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Mid Cap & the S&P BSE Small Cap finished down by 1.4% and 1.1% respectively. Losses were largely seen in oil & gas, realty and PSU stocks.

Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.84%, while the Nikkei 225 & the Hang Seng fell 1.76% and 0.56% respectively. European markets are also mixed today. The CAC 40 is up 0.29% while the FTSE 100 gains 0.14%. The DAX is off 0.06%.

The rupee was trading at 66.69 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 45.62 at the time of writing.

FMCG stocks finished on a mixed note with Bata India and Pidilite Industries leading the losses. According to a leading financial daily, Dabur India Ltd on Tuesday said it will acquire the personal care, hair care and creams businesses of South Africa-based CTL Group of Companies for 18.8 million South African rand (around US$1.5 million).

In July this year, had bought South African cosmetics manufacturing and trading firm Discaria Trading. The acquisition has been made by Dabur South Africa, a subsidiary of Dabur India arm Dabur International Ltd.

The acquisition of the businesses of the CTL Group is an important step towards consolidating and expanding Dabur's already substantial presence in Africa. Dabur already has two manufacturing plants in Africa - one each in Nigeria and Egypt. It also has businesses across other parts of the continent.

According to Dabur's CEO Sunil Duggal revenues from South Africa stood at US$ 10 million and the company is targeting US$ 50 million in the next five years. As per the reports, consumer spending in Africa is projected to double to US$1.8 trillion by 2020.

Meanwhile, according to an article in The Economic Times, consumer goods industry grew marginally by 1% in volume in July-September quarter and most companies are now ready to sacrifice margins to mop up volume growth.

Most companies including Hindustan Unilever and Marico grew sales marginally in value terms but saw volume decline in the quarter, indicating a slowdown in actual consumer demand.

As per the reports, companies have bombarded the market this festive season with the highest level of offers and promotions in five years to persuade consumers to spend.

Moving on to news from stocks in steel sector. India has reportedly imposed a provisional anti-dumping duty on imports of wire road alloy or non-alloy steel from China. This is done to reduce overseas purchases of the alloy and protect local mills (Subscription Required). The anti-dumping duty has been levied for six months.

As per the reports, steelmakers such as Steel Authority of India (SAIL), JSW Steel and Tata Steel had lobbied for protectionist measures to prevent cheap overseas purchases that were undercutting local mills and squeezing margins.

As per the reports, imports of these steel products have drastically increased to 495,732 tonnes during the period of investigation (July-December 2015) from 160,582 tonnes in 2012-13. India has already slapped anti-dumping duty on certain cold-rolled flat steel products from four nations, including China and South Korea.

Anti-dumping measures are taken to ensure fair trade and provide a level-playing field to the domestic steel industry. They are not a measure to restrict imports or cause an unjustified increase in cost of products.

In another development, SAIL's consolidated sales rose 20% to 7.52 million tonnes (mt) during the first seven months in 2016-17. Cost optimization, modernization and expansion measures have contributed to the improved volumes and sales.

As per the reports, export volumes also rose by more than three times backed by a conscious strategy of the company to expand its footprint in neighboring markets.

On the production front, the company recorded a 22% growth in saleable steel production compared with corresponding period last year.

Share price of SAIL finished the trading day down by 0.6% on the BSE.

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Jan 16, 2018 (Close)