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After trading in a range bound manner for most part of the morning trade, buying activity picked up in the post noon session amid strong European markets. While the BSE Sensex today closed higher by 328 points, the NSE-Nifty closed higher by 108 points. Midcaps and small caps too finished on a buoyant note. The S&P BSE Mid Cap index and the S&P BSE Small Cap index closed the day higher by 0.8% and 0.7% respectively. Gains were largely seen in banking, metal, and realty stocks.
Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.61% and the Hang Seng rose 0.48%. The Nikkei 225 lost 0.49%. European markets are trading higher today with shares in London leading the region. The FTSE 100 is up 0.39%, while Germany's DAX is up 0.28% and France's CAC 40 is up 0.19%.
The rupee was trading at 66.73 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 42.93 at the time of writing.
Buying was seen across majority of the auto ancillary stocks with Exide Industries and Bosch Ltd leading the gains. Shares of Bharat Forge finished the trading day on an encouraging note (up 1.5%) after it was reported that the company has entered into a contract with Boeing for developing and manufacturing 777X titanium forgings. BFL has started supplying titanium forged flap tracks for the Boeing Next Generation 737 airplane earlier this year. BFL will also supply forgings for the 737 MAX, scheduled to enter service in 2017.
This second contract with Boeing brings to forefront BFL's capabilities in precision manufacturing techniques to offer high end technology and value in the aerospace sector Boeing and BFL continue to address opportunities to expand BFL work in support of Boeing and its supply chain partners around the world. The forgings will be developed and manufactured by BFL using a closed die forgings process.
Bharat Forge is the flagship company of the US$3 billion Kalyani Group and a global provider of high performance, innovative, safety & critical components and solutions to various industrial sectors including automotive, oil & gas, power, construction & mining, aerospace and rail & marine. The company had reported a 12% YoY and 15% YoY fall in sales and net profits (Subscription required) respectively for December 2015 quarter.
Moving on to news from the metal sector. According to an article in The Livemint, Aditya Birla Group's Hindalco Industries Ltd has agreed to accept a takeover bid from MetalsX Ltd for its Australian subsidiary Aditya Birla Minerals Ltd (ABML). Reportedly, MetalsX has offered to acquire 4.5 ABML shares in exchange of one fully paid ordinary share of MetalsX and A$0.8 in cash for every ABML share held.
Part of ABML's assets is the Nifty copper mine, which currently supplies 10% of the raw material required for Hindalco's copper smelter at Dahej in Gujarat. In September, ABML had sold its Mt Gordon copper mine for A$15 million, less than the A$21 million it paid for it in 2003. The script of Hindalco finished the day up 5% on the BSE.
On another note, global margins of aluminium companies have been under severe pressure due to concerns over Chinese aluminium exports and global meltdown in commodity prices (Subscription Required). Moreover, domestic aluminium companies are also struggling with higher fuel costs. Aluminium companies were forced to source coal from the open markets in the wake of cancellation of the captive coal blocks allotted to them by the Supreme Court last year. And price hikes taken to pass on the cost has further dented their competitiveness in the global markets. This has all been reflected in the weakening financial performance during the first half of FY16 (Subscription required). Also, in Budget 2016-17, the government has increased custom duty marginally on primary aluminum products to 7.5% from 5% and custom duty on other aluminum product increased from 7.5% to 10%.
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