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Sensex Ends Day in Red; Realty Stocks Top Losers
Tue, 16 Jan Closing | Karan Janani, TM Team

After opening the day in green, share markets in India witnessed volatile trading activity throughout the day and ended the day on a dull note. Losses were seen across most sectors with stocks in the metals sector and stocks in the realty sector, leading the losses. While stocks in the IT sector gained the most.

At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood lower by 72 points (down 0.2%) and the NSE Nifty closed down by 41 points (down 0.4%). The BSE Mid Cap index ended the day down by 1.7%, while the BSE Small Cap index ended the day lower by 2.2%.

Meanwhile, Asian stock markets finished in green. As of the most recent closing prices, the Hang Seng was up by 1.8% and the Shanghai Composite was up by 0.8%. The Nikkei 225 was up by 1%. European markets were trading on a positive note. The FTSE 100 was up by 0.2%. The DAX too, was down by 0.7% while the CAC 40 was up by 0.3%.

The rupee was trading at Rs 64.07 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 64.4 at the time of writing.

In news from global cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin prices have been in a freefall and fell by over 15% in today's trade. While bitcoin prices are indeed volatile, this development comes after news reports of governments and regulators seeking to ban and control bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin is down over 20% in one week after news reports suggested that the South Korean government is intensifying its moves against the country's bitcoin exchanges.

In a recent development, it was reported that authorities in China were planning to block domestic access to Chinese and offshore cryptocurrency platforms that allow centralized trading. Regulators will also target people and companies that provide market-making, settlement and clearing services for centralized trading.

The current price action takes bitcoin to its lowest levels since December 2017.

At the time of writing, bitcoin price was trading around the US$11,500 mark, down significantly from its record high of US$ 19,300 last month. This underlines the volatility in the cryptocurrency market.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are a curious bunch. They have no central bank backing and have not yet been regulated. Yet they seem to have found favour among a large number of people, with demand for them growing every day. There are over 1000 cryptocurrencies in existence today, with new ones being added to the list every day.

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While the world of digital currencies is intriguing, it can get very confusing for the layman.

However, the good news is that help is at hand.

Prasheel Vartak and his guru Tama Churchouse, who have been researching cryptos for years, are on a mission to educate Indian investors about this enigmatic investment. You can join them here.

Moving on to news from the . According to a leading financial daily, in the latest push to electric vehicles (EV) in the country, the government is mulling amending the Electricity Act to boost charging stations.

The approach would require amending the Electricity Act, which only allows distributors to sell power, including for electric-vehicle charging stations, according to the official, who asked not to be identified as the information isn't public.

Other options include the distribution companies, known as discoms, selling electricity directly to charging-station operators or creating their own charging-station franchises.

The restriction on the sale of power is a "big challenge" because charging stations can't currently be built in parking lots or gas stations.

As of July 2017, India had only about 350 public EV chargers compared with around 57,000 petrol stations. In contrast, China had around 215,000 charging points installed at the end of 2016

Currently, electric vehicle sales too are low in India, rising 37.5% to 22,000 units in the year ended 31 March 2016 from 16,000 in 2014-15. Only 2,000 of these were cars and other four-wheelers, according to automobile lobby group SIAM.

The government wants to see 6 million electric and hybrid vehicles on Indian roads by 2020 under the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020.

Is India Prepared to Meet the Ambitious Battery Car Target?

The government is targeting to have all cars propelled by electric engine by 2030. The target is more daunting than in many advanced countries.

According to the industry, the 2030 target would require eight to ten times the global stock of such vehicles. India would need to sell more than 10 million electric cars in 2030, compared to 5,000 electric vehicles India had on the road in 2016.

As you can see from the chart above, India is barely visible compared to other developed countries when it comes to battery cars.

As an article in Business Standard suggests, such a big jump in scale for the auto industry in 13 years seems difficult. The basic infrastructure is missing. There are not enough charging stations. For this massive shift, the charging stations will need to be as ubiquitous as petrol pumps.

Another issue is the price of the lithium ion battery, which constitutes 30% to 40% of the cost of the car. For this plan to succeed, the price of the battery needs to come down.

The auto industry is already facing regulatory headwinds. The shift from BS-IV emission norms to BS-VI has been two years ahead of schedule without an intermediate stage. The government, if it is serious about such ambitious targets, should offer the necessary infrastructure support and do its bit for a smooth transition.

And here's a note from Profit Hunter:

Despite the benchmark indices witnessing selling pressure, the IT stocks withstood it valiantly. The Nifty IT Index was up 3.65%.

Wipro (+5.90%), HCL Tech (+4.40%), TCS (+4.15%), and Infosys (+4.05%), and were the top gainers in the index.

In an earlier note, we stated that the Nifty IT Index was trading in a falling channel. We also showed you how the RSI indicator found resistance from its typical bear market level of 60, indicating weakness in price action.

The index broke above the channel's resistance line in July 2017. The RSI indicators also rose above the 60 level mark. Consequently, the resilient index soared nearly 18% from the channel break-out level.

Now the index is only few percentages away from its life-time high of 12,908. Will it cross this level and register a new life-time high? We will keep you posted...Stay tuned.

Nifty IT Index Soared 4% for the Day
Nifty IT Index Soared 4% for the Day

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Jan 16, 2018 (Close)