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Major Asian stock markets have opened the day on a mixed note with the stock market in Japan are trading marginally higher by 0.2%. While, the stock market in Indonesia is trading marginally lower by 0.2%. Benchmark indices in Europe ended their previous session in green with benchmarks indices in the UK ending the day higher by 1.5%. The rupee is trading at 66.96 per US$.
Indian stock markets have opened the day on a flattish note. The BSE Sensex is trading marginally lower by 28 points (down 0.1%) and the NSE Nifty is trading lower by 20 points (down 0.2%). Both, BSE Mid Cap and BSE Small Cap are trading higher by 0.3% and 0.2% respectively.
Major sectoral indices have opened the day on a mixed note. Stocks from telecom sector are witnessing maximum selling pressure. While, stocks from pharmaceutical sector are witnessing buying interest.
As per an article in Livemint, cement manufacturers have hiked prices in some regions in anticipation of good demand. Normally cement manufacturers hike prices at this time of the year as the monsoon comes to end and the construction activities resume.
However, the hikes, this time, have been more than usual. In some regions, the hike has been as steep as Rs 50/bag. The steep hike can be partly attributed to the increase in the fuel costs.
Prices of petroleum coke (petcoke) used in the manufacture of cement have increased significantly. Reportedly, petcoke prices have nearly risen by 80% over the past six months.
Experts believe that the cement prices could further increase as manufacturers replenish their petcoke stocks at increased prices.
Stock prices of cement companies have risen sharply since the beginning of the year. In order for this rally to sustain it will be of utmost importance that the demand for the real estate as well as construction activities recovers.
In another news update, Iron Ore prices have fallen by around 10% since the beginning of the year. Iron ore is the main input used to make steel.
The prices have fallen on account of an excess supply situation. Further, this situation is expected to get worse as two new mines are expected to come to production by the beginning of 2017. Both mines together will add capacities to the extent of 165 million tonnes at full capacity.
However, a demand revival in the steel sector can be a positive for the iron ore prices. Nevertheless, the real fear is if China's crude steel output sees a sustained slowdown or declines that can hit iron ore prices hard. That may signal lower steel prices as well, as buyers will demand price cuts.
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