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Sensex Finished on a Positive Note, BHEL Surges on Strong Q2 Results
Tue, 8 Nov Closing

After trading flat during the noon session, Indian share markets witnessed buying activity in the final few hours of trade to finish well above the dotted line. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 132 points, while the NSE Nifty finished up by 46 points. Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Mid Cap & the S&P BSE Small Cap finished up by 0.4% and 0.2% respectively. Gains were largely seen in auto, banking and oil & gas stocks.

Share price of BHEL surged 2.9% today after the company reported a net profit of Rs 1.09 billion for the quarter ended September 2016. The company had reported a loss of Rs 1.81 billion for the same quarter last year.

Asian equity markets mostly finished flat as investors await the outcome of the U.S. presidential election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The Hang Seng gained 0.47% and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.46%. The Nikkei 225 lost 0.03%. European markets are mixed today. The FTSE 100 is up 1.83% while the CAC 40 gains 0.11%. The DAX is off 0.07%.

The rupee was trading at 66.73 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 44.81 at the time of writing.

Automobile stocks finished the day on a strong note with Tata Motors leading the gains. Share Price of Ashok Leyland surged by 2.3% in today's trade after the company posted a 71% jump in net profit at Rs 2.94 billion during the September quarter in the current financial year as against Rs 1.72 billion in the corresponding period last year.

Ashok Leyland's revenue during the quarter declined 6.9% to Rs 49.11 billion compared with Rs 52.74 billion in corresponding quarter of last fiscal, dented by lower volume. Sales volumes fell 9% YoY to 33,446 units, hit by medium and heavy commercial vehicles sales that fell 15% but light commercial vehicles reported an 8% growth in Q2.

Sentiments also remained upbeat after Ashok Leyland received approval from fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) for buyout of its Japanese partner Nissan Motors' stake in three Joint Ventures (JVs). The joint ventures are Ashok Leyland Nissan Vehicles (ALNVL) for making vehicles; Nissan Ashok Leyland Power Train (NALPT) for manufacturing power trains and Nissan Ashok Leyland Technologies (NALT), which is a technology joint venture.

Earlier in September, Nissan Motors had announced that it would exit the three joint ventures by selling its stake to Ashok Leyland (Subscription Required). Post deal, the three entities would become wholly-owned subsidiaries of Ashok Leyland.

In another development, Tata Motors' subsidiary - Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) reported its best ever October retail sales of 46,325 vehicles, up 11% compared to October 2015.

JLR delivered solid retail sales growth across the majority of key regions for October year on year, with China up 39%, Europe up 25%, the UK and North America both up 8% but other overseas markets were down 22%. JLR sold 480,349 vehicles in the first ten months of 2016, 23% up on the same period in the prior year.

Meanwhile, share price of Tata Motors surged 6.5% in today's trade after the company clarified that it had not received any letter from foreign institutional investors (FIIs) of the company over governance concerns.

Moving on to news from stocks in oil & gas sector. According to a leading financial daily, ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), a subsidiary of ONGC, will provide US$ 318 million financing to help raise output at a Venezuelan oilfield after Venezuela signed a pact to supply 17,000 barrels per day of crude oil to India to clear past dues.

OVL owns 40% of Venezuela's San Cristobal oilfield and had invested about US$190 million in the project in 2008. State-run Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) holds the remaining stake.

Reportedly, the financing will help boost production at San Cristobal field to 30,000-35,000 bpd from current 19,000-20,000 bpd. OVL has not been paid for its share of oil from the San Cristobal field in last few years.

OVL had received its dividend from sale of crude oil produced from the field totaling US$56.224 million for 2008. But dividends for 2009 to 2013 totaling $537.631 million remained unpaid due to cash flow difficulties being faced by PDVSA.

Venezuela has been unable to pay foreign partners on some of its projects as revenues slumped along with crude prices and as funds were diverted to social program and fuel subsidies.

OVL, along with Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and Oil India Ltd, also holds 18% stake in Venezuela's Carabobo-1 project, which currently produces about 16,000 bpd of oil and is expected to reach 90,000 bpd by end of 2017.

In another development, ONGC is reportedly seeking total pricing freedom for natural gas produced in India. According to company's chairman, prices should be deregulated and be determined by the buyers and sellers collectively through the market forces.

As per the reports, the government would consider the company's plea of pricing freedom because the company's aim behind this was to help raise domestic gas output, the same as that of the government. A few months back, ONGC had also written to the government that a floor price be fixed for the domestic prices.

Share Price of ONGC finished the day up by 1.3% on the BSE.

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