Sensex Trades Over 250 Points Up; Tata Motors & Power Grid Top Gainers

Stock markets in India are presently trading higher. The BSE Sensex is trading higher by 252 points and the NSE Nifty is trading higher by 59 points. Meanwhile, the BSE Mid Cap index and the BSE Small Cap index both are trading up by 0.3% & 0.2% respectively.

Among the sectoral indices, metal stocks and power stocks are witnessing buying interest. While consumer durables stocks and IT stocks are trading in the red.

The rupee is trading at 71.68 to the US$.

In the news from the economy. According to commerce ministry data, India's exports grew by a meager 0.8% to US$ 26.5 billion in November.

Imports rose by 4.3% to US$ 43.2 billion during the month, leading to widening of the trade deficit to US$ 16.7 billion.

The deficit widened despite a steep decline of 15.6% in gold imports at US$ 2.8 billion during the month under review.

During April-November this fiscal, exports rose by 11.6% to US$ 217.5 billion, while imports recorded a growth of 14.7% to US$ 345.6 billion.

Trade deficit during the period widened to US$ 128.1 billion as against US$ 106.4 billion during April-November 2017-18.

Speaking of the reason behind India's rising deficit, the one big thing that worked for the Modi government when it came into power was low oil prices. Oil imports in November jumped by 41.3% to US$ 13.5 billion. However, the non-oil imports dipped by 6.8% to US$ 29.7 billion.

Given that India largely imports most of the oil it consumes, lower prices meant the trade deficit was kept in check.

Fast forward to recent past...oil prices had risen.

So has the trade deficit. But can this be entirely attributed to rising crude prices? Not really, if an article in Livemint is to be believed.

You see, oil prices have inched up in FY18. But they are still not as high as they were in FY14.

Yet, in FY14, the trade deficit was barely anything. Whereas in FY18, India is staring at a trade deficit of around US$ 53 billion.

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Disclosure: Equitymaster Agora Research Private Limited (hereinafter referred as 'Equitymaster') is an independent equity research Company. Equitymaster is not an Investment Adviser. ...

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