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With buying activity picking up in the final hour of today's session, the BSE-Sensex today closed higher by 158 points, while the NSE-Nifty closed higher by 50 points. Midcaps and Small caps too finished on a buoyant note. While the S&P BSE Mid Cap index closed higher by 0.4 %, the S&P BSE Small Cap index closed the day with gains of 0.5%. Majority of the sectoral indices ended the day on a cheerful note. Gains were largely seen in realty and IT stocks.
Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Nikkei 225 gained 0.27% and the Hang Seng rose 0.15%. The Shanghai Composite lost 0.94%. European markets are lower today as French and British stocks fell. The French CAC 40 is off 0.34% while the London FTSE 100 is down 0.24%. The German DAX is not trading. The rupee was trading at 66.33 against the US$ in the afternoon session.
According to a leading financial daily, Shares of The Ramco Cements surged more than 6% in intraday trading today after it was reported that the company is reportedly planning to setup a 0.9 Mta cement grinding plant at Choudwar, district Cuttack, Odisha. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 4.06 billion (US$ 61.21 million). The project has received clearance from the Government of Odisha, construction set to commence in Q1 2016.
It is to be noted that The Ramco Cements is the fifth largest cement producer in the country. Ramco Supergrade is the most popular cement brand in South India. While the company's sales declined by 5.2% YoY, net profits reported a sharp recovery of 54.6% YoY (Subscription Required) during the second quarter of FY2015-16 (2QFY16).
2015 has been a rather poor year for stocks from the cement sector. Barring Shree Cement, the overall returns generated from the top companies from this sector have been quite lackluster (Subscription Required). The average cement prices have declined to levels of Rs 300 a 50 kg bag. This is largely on the back of weak demand from the rural markets (which forms about 40% of the market).
According to a leading financial daily, GAIL (India) is believed to be in talks with Golar LNG to ferry gas from the US starting 2017. Separately, the state-run gas marketing and trading firm has also reportedly called bids for hiring of nearly 11 ships to ferry LNG. The discussions with Golar is seen as an interim arrangement till the chartered ships are ready, which is expected only by 2019. Golar LNG is one of the world's leading owners and operators of LNG carriers.
In December 2011, GAIL signed a deal with Cheniere Energy Partners to buy 3.5 mtpa of LNG from the Sabine Pass Terminal in Louisiana on FoB basis. Deliveries would start between March and August 2018. In April 2013, GAIL booked another 2.3 mtpa capacity to export LNG from the Dominion Cover Point terminal in Maryland, delivery of which is expected from end-2017.
The oil price has been falling and is now below US$40 per barrel. Data from the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) shows that the price of the Indian basket of crude oil as on December 11, 2015, was at US$ 35.72 per barrel. In the last one month the price of oil has fallen by around 16%. This has affected the merchandise exports in the country. During the first six months of the year the total exports fell by 16.4% in comparison to the same period in 2014. Between July and November 2015, exports have fallen by 19.7%, in comparison to July and November 2014.
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