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Sensex Finishes Flat; Metal & Auto Stocks Drag
Fri, 9 Dec Closing

Indian share markets finished the week on a flat note with positive bias amid mixed global markets. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 53 points, while the NSE Nifty finished up by 15 points. Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Mid Cap & the S&P BSE Small Cap finished up by 0.2% and 0.5% respectively. Gains were largely seen in realty and banking stocks.

Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Nikkei 225 gained 1.23% and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.54%. The Hang Seng lost 0.44%. European markets too are mixed today. The CAC 40 is up 0.17% while the FTSE 100 gains 0.12%. The DAX is off 0.17%.

The rupee was trading at 67.58 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 51.19 at the time of writing.

According to a leading financial daily, the government has accepted that the US$48 billion target for textiles and garment exports for 2016-17, may be hard to achieve due to less demand in major markets like the US, EU and China. During 2015-16, the overall export of textiles and garments from India was US$40 billion, which was below the target of US$47.5 billion. Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani conceded that despite various efforts by the government, it will be difficult to achieve the target for the fiscal.

Highlighting the measures taken by the government to attain the export goal, Textiles Minister Smriti Irani said that to promote exports in garments sector, a special package of incentives was announced in June this year which includes relaxation in certain labour laws, income tax concession, and 100% employer's contribution to EPFO by government, rebate of state levies for exports, etc.

Irani further said that the government implements various export promotion schemes to promote exports of all the segments in the sector on a sustained basis. These include, Interest Equalisation Scheme, Merchandise Exports from India Scheme, Market Access Initiative, Market Development Assistance and Duty Drawback.

The chart below shows the value of the leading 10 textile exporters worldwide in 2015, by country. In that year, China was the top ranked global textile exporter with a value of approximately 109 billion U.S. dollars, followed by European Union (Comprising 28 Countries).

Value of Leading Textile Exporters Worldwide

Moving on to news from stocks in steel sector. As per an article in The Livemint, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) reported a decline in standalone net loss at Rs 7.30 billion for the quarter ended September 30, helped by a strong marketing push and cost optimization measures. The company had posted a net loss of Rs. 11.08 billion in the year-ago period.

Total standalone income of the company rose by 21% to Rs 125.77 billion in July-September quarter this fiscal from Rs 103.78 billion during the same quarter in 2015-16.

SAIL joins Tata Steel Ltd in posting a negative result for the period partly on weaker product prices and as Tata's operations in the UK remained a drag on earnings, while the nation's second-largest producer JSW Steel Ltd reported a third straight profit on record output.

India has tightened curbs on cheaper imports from countries including China as domestic mills ramp up production on expectations that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will boost spending on infrastructure, roads and power.

Indian Steel Sector contributed 2% to overall Gross Domestic Product of the country during 2015-16. India is close to acquiring the second position in crude steel production if it continues with its current growth rate. According to the latest report of World Steel Association (WSA), India's steel production during January-October 2016 grew by 6.8% to reach 79.5 million tonnes, even as global steel output saw a 0.1% contraction.

SAIL's share price finished the trading day up by 3.2% on the BSE.

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