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Sensex Continues To Trade Strong; Nestle Gains 5%

Indian share markets continue to trade on a strong note during the noon session amid firm global markets. Gains are largely seen in metal stocks, software stocks and bank stocks. Meanwhile, pharma stocks are witnessing majority of the selling activity.

The BSE Sensex is trading higher by 258 points and the NSE Nifty is trading up by 82 points. Meanwhile, the BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 0.1% & the BSE Small Cap index is down by 0.4%. The rupee is trading at 64.12 to the US$.

As per an article in The Livemint, Gitanjali Gems share price plunged 19% after the company came under scanner of various investigating agencies following the Punjab National Bank's (PNB) declaration of nearly Rs 114 billion fraud.

Some of other jewelry stocks also witnessed similar fate with PC Jeweller share price declining 5%, Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri share price 1.6% and Thangamayil Jewellery share price 4.4%.

PNB on Wednesday disclosed that it has detected some fraudulent transactions with financial implication of US$1.77 billion and the matter has been referred to law enforcement agencies for the recovery.

PNB share price continued to decline (down 5.6%).

Moving on to news from airline stocks. Jet Airways share price was trading down by 5.2% after the company reported a 45.9% drop in standalone net profit to Rs 1.65 billion in the December quarter from a year earlier, hit by a sharp jump in fuel expense.

Net profit fell despite a 10.43% increase in revenue from operations to Rs 60.86 billion during the third quarter when both domestic and international traffic showed growth.

As per an article in the Livemint, the airline's fuel expenses rose nearly 29% to Rs 18.4 billion as an increase in oil prices in world markets hit the aviation sector.

Meanwhile, India's aviation industry is on a high-growth trajectory. India's domestic air traffic has seen a prolific growth of 20-25% during 2015 and 2016. And in 2017, it tapered to 17.4%. However, for the first time, domestic air traffic crossed an important landmark of 100 million passengers in a calendar year.

Indian Aviation Spreading its Wings

Air travel has recorded double-digit growth for 40 consecutive months, thanks to low fares, the addition of new flights/destinations, and overall growth in the economy.

What's foreseeable for India's aviation traffic in 2018 is some pressure on the back of the consistent rise in crude oil prices. Earlier this month, Brent crude oil briefly breached US$70 per barrel and touched its highest level since December 2014. Crude prices have been driven up by production curbs in OPEC nations and Russia, as well as by robust demand on the back of healthy global economic growth.

Power stocks are trading on a mixed note with SJVN share price and Power grid share price leading the gains.

Torrent Power share price is trading up by 0.6% after the company entered into a contract with Siemens Gamesa Renewable Power for setting up of Wind Power Projects up to the aggregate capacity of 120 MW.

The arrangement includes acquiring of the 100% share capital of the two SPVs established for the purpose of development and implementation of the said projects at Rs 1,00,000 each from Siemens Gamesa Renewable Power.

Nestle share price is trading on a strong note (up 4.5%) after the company joined the Rs 100 billion sales club in India. Nestle India Ltd reported total sales at Rs 101.35 billion for the year ended December 2017.

For the quarter ended December 31, 2017, the company posted a net profit of Rs 3.11 billion, up 60% compared to Rs 1.95 billion in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal.

While there are many packaged goods companies in India with more than Rs 100 billion sales, Nestle India is among the very few to have crossed the mark with a pure-play food business. Among the listed firms, ITC Ltd's food business was estimated at around Rs 80 billion in fiscal year ended 31 March 2017 (FY17) and Britannia Industries Ltd reported sales at Rs 86.84 billion in FY17.