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Sensex Finishes Weak; Metal Stocks Tank
Thu, 22 Dec Closing

The Indian share markets remained negative and headed for a weak close. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex closed lower by 263 points, whereas the NSE Nifty finished lower by 82 points. The S&P BSE Midcap ended down by 1.5% while the S&P BSE Small Cap finished down by 1.3%. All sectoral indices ended the day on a negative note. Metal, infrastructure stocks and consumer durable stocks witnessed the maximum brunt.

Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.07%, while the Hang Seng led the Nikkei 225 lower. They fell 0.80% and 0.09% respectively. European markets are mixed today. The CAC 40 is up 0.08% while the DAX gains 0.03%. The FTSE 100 is off 0.05%.

The rupee was trading at Rs 67.91 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 52.37 at the time of writing.

According to an article in The Economic Times, fertiliser sales have not been impacted by the cash crunch so far. Demonetisation of high-value currency notes does not seem to have majorly affected fertiliser sales as a lot of fertilizer sales are currently taking place on credit.

Only urea sales were low, at 26.9 lakh tonnes last month, marginally lower than the 27.4 lakh tonnes for November 2015. But sales of this most widely consumed fertiliser in India had registered a dip even during the kharif season (April-September). That decline has continued in the ongoing rabi season from October. This may have less to do with the 8 November demonetisation decision as much as two other factors, the reports noted.

According to the ICRA report, the fertiliser volumes at companies' end fell by 3% year-on-year during H1 FY17 to 27.8 million tonne. According to the Department of Fertilisers, sales of di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) increased by 29.5%. Sales of muriate of potash (MOP) and complexes went up by 71.8% and 7.5% respectively.

Overall, the outlook for the fertiliser sector remains stable with favourable agro-climatic conditions and liquidation of high systemic inventory, the reports noted. In one of our editions of The 5 Minute Wrapup, we have spoken about the performance of stocks in this space (Subscription Required). Fertilizer stocks don't have a lot going for them of late. The worst of them have lost up to 30%. And the best haven't gained more than 10%.

Fertilizer stocks ended the day on a mixed note. Chambal ferlisers and Gujarat State Fertilisers led the losses. As per an article by the Financial Express, India's deal activity in November witnessed a sharp 24% year-on-year decline. The lack of big ticket transactions hit both value and volumes.

Reportedly, the value of M&As in November fell 16% to US$2.06 billion from US$2.46 billion in the same month last year. The manufacturing sector contributed 55% to the total deal value.

In contrast, corporates remained busy with deal activities in FY 2016 with mergers and acquisitions worth over US$52-billion. Moreover, the tally may get even bigger in the new year on growing interest of global investors in the Indian businesses. The surge in deal value this year was largely driven by big-ticket transactions and consolidation in many sectors. Also the similar trends may continue going forward in 2017, the reports noted.

2016 Looks A Strong Year for Mergers & Acquisitions

The total quantum of announced deal value for 2016 is estimated at US$52.6 billion, sharply higher than US$31.3 billion in 2015. In the near term, experts believe, demonetisation and GST will act as a catalyst to fuel increased deal activity over the coming years.

As the impact of demonetisation is yet to be seen, and the fate of GST is currently in a wait and watch situation, the developments may have a short term impact on deal closures. In general, the outlook for transactions seems to be healthy. Domestic M&A along with cross-border activity in core sectors will continue to be the space where we will perhaps see most of the action, the reports noted.

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