Indices traded sideways with losses in morning trade. The Nifty reclaimed 14,800 mark after hitting a low of 14,730.75 in initial deals. Metal and IT stocks were in demand while banks and financial shares were under pressure. Mixed global cues and soaring new Covid-19 cases in the country weighed on the sentiment.
At 10:29 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 324.73 points or 0.65% at 49,441.75. The Nifty 50 index was down 68.30 points or 0.46% at 14,826.95.
HDFC Bank (down 3.14%), Hindustan Unilever (down 3.05%) and HDFC (down 2.56%) were major drags.
In broader market, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was up 0.12% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index gained 0.4%.
The market breadth was positive. On the BSE, 1391 shares rose and 1059 shares fell. A total of 131 shares were unchanged.
Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 150,124,248 with 3,161,971 deaths.
India reported 31,70,228 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 208,330 deaths, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
India for the ninth day in a row recorded fresh Covid infections over 3 lakh with the caseload inching closer to the 4 lakh mark as India reported 3,86,693 fresh cases in the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, reports suggest that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a meeting of the Union Council of Ministers on Friday to discuss the prevailing Covid situation in the country. The meeting, to be held virtually on Friday morning, could also be attended by some top government officials besides Union ministers, according to the report.
Exit polls on Thursday forecast a tight contest between the incumbent Trinamool Congress and the BJP in the high-profile West Bengal assembly polls, while the ruling Left combine was projected to retain power in Kerala and so was the case for BJP in Assam. However, exit polls projected DMK-led opposition alliance as a winner in Tamil Nadu, while the Congress-led alliance was seen losing the neighbouring Puducherry. Votes will be counted on 2 May.
The Nifty Metal index jumped 1.34% to 4,920.60. The index has rallied nearly 6% in two days.
Steel Authority of India (up 7.03%), Vedanta (up 4.02%), National Aluminium Company (up 2.47%), NMDC (up 2.44%) Coal India (up 2.23%), Hindustan Zinc (up 1.6%), Tata Steel (up 0.82%), Hindalco Industries (up 0.52%) and JSW Steel (up 0.44%) were top gainers in metal space.
Reliance Industries (down 0.09%), Atul (up 0.31%), Can Fin Homes (up 0.28%), IndusInd Bank (down 0.29%), Marico (up 0.24%), Trent (down 0.68%) and Yes Bank (up 1.03%) will announce quarterly results today.
Titan Company fell 1.52%.
The company posted a 48.2% jump in standalone net profit to Rs 529 crore on 60% rise in net sales to Rs 6,991 crore in Q4 FY21 over Q4 FY20. The Tata Group Enterprise continued to do well in Q4 FY21 with strong revenue growth both in the Jewellery and the Eyewear divisions and with the Watches division recovering fully. The total income for the quarter was Rs 7,169 crore, including sale of gold bullion to the extent of Rs 25 crore, compared to the income of Rs 4,469 crores for the same quarter in the previous year. The growth in total income excluding bullion sale was 60%.
The Jewellery division ran a diamond studded promotion in the quarter and that led to good recovery of the studded segment of the business. However, the studded ratio continued to lag the previous year and with gold coins sales continuing to remain very high, margins in the Jewellery business continued to be under pressure. The jewellery division recorded a 70% jump in income to Rs 6,397 crore for Q4 FY21 (excluding gold bullion sales) as compared to Rs 3,754 crore in Q4 FY20. The Watches and wearables business recovered well in the quarter to record an income of Rs 555 crore as against Rs 557 crore in the previous year. The Eyewear business also improved with revenues growing by 18% in the quarter, recording an income of Rs 127 crore as against Rs 108 crore last year.
Persistent Systems rose 4.03% to Rs 2079 after the company's consolidated net profit increased 13.9% to Rs 137.75 crore on 3.5% rise in revenue to Rs 1113.35 crore in Q4 FY21 over Q3 FY21. EBITDA rose 3.2% to Rs 188.32 crore in Q4 FY21 from Rs 182.47 Q3 FY21. EBITDA margin was at 16.9% as on 31 March 2021 as against 17% as on 31 December 2020. Profit before tax in Q4 FY21 stood at Rs 184.87 crore, up 12% from Rs 165.01 crore in Q3 FY21.
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