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Sensex Sheds 77 Points; Nifty Hits Six Month Low
Fri, 18 Nov Closing

Indian share markets witnessed selling pressure in the afternoon session as sentiments remained subdued after US Federal Reserve Chairperson Janet Yellen signaled of an imminent interest rate hike. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood lower by 77 points, while the NSE Nifty hit a six month low to finish at 8074. Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Mid Cap & the S&P BSE Small Cap bucked the week trend and finished up by 0.6% and 0.3% respectively. Sectoral indices finished the day on a mixed note with energy & healthcare stocks leading the gains. While metal & consumer durables stocks witnessed the maximum selling pressure.

Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Nikkei 225 gained 0.59% and the Hang Seng rose 0.37%. The Shanghai Composite lost 0.49%. European markets are lower today with shares in London off the most. The FTSE 100 is down 0.54% while France's CAC 40 is off 0.34% and Germany's DAX is lower by 0.16%.

The rupee fell and was trading at 68.09 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 44.91 at the time of writing.

According to an article in The Economic Times, Coal India Ltd's arm Northern Coalfields (NCL) has awarded a project to DBL-DECO, a joint venture of Dilip Buildcon.

The scope of work includes excavation overburden of first dig & re-handling by mechanical means at specified places at NIGAHI open cast project of NCL.

The estimated cost of the project is Rs 14.7 billion, having an average lead of five km.

In another development, CIL sold 7 million tonnes of coal, or 35% of the quantity on offer in an e-auction recently. Most of the coal was sold near the floor price that was 20% higher than listed prices for non-power users.

Reportedly, CIL has sold about 70 million tonnes of coal through spot and forward e-auctions in the first seven months of this financial year. It plans to sell another 50 million tonnes in the remaining five months, for a total of 120 million tonnes through this route.

Notably, the bulk of CIL's income comes from e-auctions. This route fetches a price higher than the price notified for coal that's meant for power and non-power consumers. The company's output was 538.7 million tonnes of coal in financial year2015-16.

The slowdown in offtake by power generation companies has further added to India's coal production glut. Therefore, the government has asked power plants to procure their coal requirements from Coal India's e-auction instead of buying coal at a 40% premium under the Memorandum of Understanding scheme started in 2013.

Stocks from mining sector ended the trading week on a mixed note with NMDC Ltd and MOIL Ltd leading the losses.

Moving on the news from stocks in banking sector. With major infusion of fresh liquidity arising from the demonetization measure, ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank slashed fixed deposit (FD) rates by up to 0.25%.

Following the footsteps of the State Bank of India (SBI), ICICI Bank lowered interest rates on its fixed deposit between 390 days and two years by 0.15%. While HDFC Bank reduced interest rate by 0.25% across all tenures on bulk deposits.

Notably, till Nov 16, SBI collected Rs 1141.3 billion in deposits over the last seven days after the government announced to scrap Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. According to estimates, banks have collected cash deposit of over Rs 4 trillion following the demonetization decision announced on November 8 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Reportedly, the cut in deposit rates will translate into lower lending rates when banks review Marginal Cost-based Lending Rate (MCLR) by the end of the month. Moreover, Axis Bank announced a cut in its MCLR by 0.15-0.20% on Wednesday.

ICICI Bank & HDFC Bank's share price finished the trading session down by 1.3% & 1.6% respectively.

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