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Indian markets open flat
Wed, 18 Nov 09:30 am

The major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with stock markets in Japan (up 0.6%) and Indonesia (up 0.5%) being the top gainers. Major stock indices in Europe and US ended their previous session on an encouraging note. The rupee is trading at 65.98 per US dollar.

Indian stock markets have opened the day on a flattish note. BSE-Sensex is trading marginally lower by 5 points (down 0.02%) and NSE-Nifty is trading lower by 15 points (down 0.13%). However, S&P BSE Midcap and S&P BSE Smallcap have surged upwards and both are trading higher by 0.2%.

Major sectoral indices have opened the day on a mixed note. Stocks from information technology and metal sector are witnessing selling pressure. However stocks from tobacco and pharmaceutical sector are witnessing buying interest.

As reported in the financial daily, The 'GST' the finance minister 'Arun Jaitley' recently stated that Goods and Service Tax (GST) will be the main agenda once the parliament session reconvenes in the next week. The recent debacle in 'Bihar' polls will make it more difficult for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government to take control of the upper house of the parliament i.e Rajya Sabha. However the finance minister states that this won't affect the passage of GST.

The government has set a deadline for the implementation of GST by April 2016. Once the bill is passed in the parliament, the same will have to be ratified by more than half of the states in India. After this the parliament will have to pass another bill to implement the GST.

Thus the government will have to make all efforts to pass the GST bill in the up-coming session of the parliament. Otherwise it will be very difficult to meet the deadline of implementation of GST by April 2016.

As per an article in a leading financial daily, aluminium producers are raising the prices of their finished product in order to compensate for the expensive coal.

The cancellation of coal blocks by the Supreme Court in 2014 forced the aluminium producers to purchase the coal from the expensive open market. Given, coal accounts for 50% of their production cost, the hike in the prices of coal leads to subsequent increase in the prices of finished products too. Given the companies are not willing to sacrifice on profitability front; this has made them uncompetitive in the global market. India's cost of production will be higher as compared to Russia, Middle East and China which enjoys a fuel cost advantage.

Reportedly, Hindalco reported an increase of 30% in its power and fuel cost for the quarter ended September 2015.

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