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Sensex Finishes Weak on Global Cues
Fri, 2 Dec Closing

Indian share markets fell further in the afternoon session to finish the week on a negative note amid weak global indices. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood lower by 329 points, while the NSE Nifty finished down by 106 points. Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Mid Cap & the S&P BSE Small Cap finished down by 1.3% and 1.4% respectively. Losses were largely seen in auto and FMCG stocks.

Asian markets finished broadly lower today with shares in Hong Kong leading the losses. The Hang Seng is down 1.37% while China's Shanghai Composite is off 0.90% and Japan's Nikkei 225 is lower by 0.47%. European markets were slightly lower in early trade as investors focused on political developments in Italy with shares in France off the most. The CAC 40 is down 1.41% while London's FTSE 100 is off 0.88% and Germany's DAX is lower by 0.92%.

The rupee was trading at 68.37 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 50.71 at the time of writing.

According to an article in Moneycontrol, Vedanta Resources Plc plans to invest as much as Rs 200 billion (US$ 2.9 billion) over three years to expand its alumina and aluminum producing capacity in Odisha.

The company plans to expand the capacity of its Lanjigarh alumina refinery to 5 million tonnes from the current 2 million tonnes and double the capacity of its Jharsuguda aluminium smelter to 2 million tonnes.

Vedanta has been trying to expand the capacity of its refinery for almost 8 years but a lack of availability of bauxite, the raw material which is refined to make alumina, has proved a hurdle. As per the reports, Vedanta has already invested Rs 600 billion to build the refinery and smelter.

Meanwhile, Vedanta group has also lined up Rs 300 billion investments to ramp up the capacity of Cairn India. Cairn India is in the process of being merged with Vedanta, for which the shareholders of both the entities have already given their nod. With this investment, the production capacity of Cairn India would go up to 3,50,000 barrel of oil equivalent per day.

Cairn India recently reported a 139% jump in its September quarter net profit to Rs 7.79 billion, the highest in six quarters, on account of cost savings and a restatement of previous comparable quarter profits. Its total income from operations declined 9% to Rs 20.39 billion in the second quarter of 2016-17 from Rs 22.42 billion in the same period a year ago.

Cairn India's Net Profit Over the Last 6 Quarters

Cairn India's share price finished the trading day down by 1.5% on the BSE.

In another development, according to a leading financial daily, Crisil has lowered India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth forecast by 1% to 6.9% for 2016-17 from 7.9 % forecasted earlier. Crisil stated that economic recovery from demonetisation will take at least a couple of months, translating into a GDP growth of 6.6% for the second half, compared with 7.2% in the first half.

At the same time, Crisil also mentioned that the jolt to demand will also pull inflation down thus, it expects the consumer price index (CPI)-based inflation to print lower at 4.7% as compared to its earlier estimation of 5%.

The ratings agency said that the pain of demonetisation will be frontloaded and the benefits will be felt over a period of time. It also said that uncertainty coupled with a fall in consumption demand and inventory build-up, will push back recovery in private corporate investments.

Additionally, it said that the problem gets compounded because of a preponderance of cash transactions in the humongous informal sector, which cannot be accurately measured or monitored.

Further talking on government's demonetisation move, Crisil said that the problem is, the infusion of replacement notes has been very sluggish and the ensuing cash choke has pulled back the business cycle, which was beginning to accelerate on the back of a good monsoon, the seventh pay commission pay hike, and the one rank one pension scheme for veterans. It added that the cash crunch will impact private consumption demand (55% of GDP) directly, and cull GDP growth in the third and fourth quarters of the current fiscal.

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