Shares of metal companies rallied up to 6 per cent on the NSE on Thursday. The Nifty Metal index surged around 2.5 per cent and was the top sectoral gainer on the NSE.
At 09:42 am, SAIL was trading over 4 per cent higher at Rs 36.85. The stock hit a high of Rs 37.45, up 6 per cent in the early trade. Hindalco was up 3.7 per cent, JSPL was up 3.6 per cent while Hindustan Copper was quoting over 3 per cent higher at Rs 41.15.
Other constituents of the index such as Tata Steel, Vedanta, JSW Steel and Nalco were up in the range of 2.7 – 3.2 per cent. Of 15 constituents, 14 were trading in the green and just 1 – Ratnamani Metals & Tubes was in the negative territory.
In comparison, the benchmark Nifty50 index was trading over 0.5 per cent higher at 10,762.55 levels.
According to a Reuters report dated July 8, copper on the London Metal Exchange has surged more than 40 per cent since touching a 45-month low in March, driven recently by fears that the Covid-19 pandemic will curb mine production in Chile and firm demand from the biggest consumer China.
Chile’s mining minister said his country was prioritising workers’ health, the report said.
Prices of zinc and aluminium, too, have jumped. “LME zinc surged 3 per cent to $2,131.50 a tonne, the strongest since February 20,” the report added.
Edelweiss Securities, in a sector update issued on June 25, had noted that lacklustre domestic demand was a key concern for steel prices. “In the past seven weeks, relatively robust international prices did not have a run-on impact as domestic demand is weak. Furthermore, cost-push is also absent in the domestic market as coking coal price has come off and domestic iron ore price is also down nearly 30 per cent compared to three months ago,” it wrote.
That said, the brokerage believes JSPL is likely to fare better than peers owing to its better volume growth trajectory; and lower cost of operations. It has maintained JSPL as its preferred pick in the space with ‘BUY/SO’ and target price of Rs 190.