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Barometers trade with steep losses; IT shares bounce on weak rupee

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The equity barometers continued to trade with heavy losses in early afternoon trade. At 12:20 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 927.32 points or 2.98% at 30,170.41. The Nifty 50 index was down 261.45 points or 2.86% at 8,875.40.

Investors were unimpressed by the government's economic relief measures. A steady rise in coronavirus cases in India also spooked investors. Extension of the nationwide lockdown further hurt sentiment.

In the broader market, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was down 3.30% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index fell 2.60%.

Sellers outpaced buyers. On the BSE, 459 shares rose and 1588 shares fell. A total of 131 shares were unchanged. In the Nifty 50 index, 8 shares advanced while 42 stocks declined.

Macroeconomic data:

India's merchandise exports dipped 60.3% to US$ 10.36 billion in April 2020 over a year ago. Meanwhile, merchandise imports also declined 58.6% to US$ 17.12 billion. The trade deficit fell 55.9% to US$ 6.76 billion in April 2020 from $15.33 billion in April 2019.

Merchandise exports in rupees plunged 56.4% to Rs 78951 crore, while imports declined 54.6% to Rs 130525 crore in April 2020 over April 2019. The trade deficit eased to Rs 51574 crore in April 2020 compared with Rs 106412 crore in April 2019.

As per the data released by the Reserve Bank of India, India's services exports increased 1.2% to US$ 18.16 billion in March 2020 over March 2019. Meanwhile, India's services imports declined 2.2% to $11.11 billion in March 2020.

The southwest monsoon is likely to make a delayed onset this year, arriving over the Kerala coast on 5 June, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Friday. The forecast carries a model error of +/-4 days, according to the weather office. The normal onset date for the June-September rainy season is 1 June.


The NSE's India VIX, a gauge of market's expectation of volatility over the near term, fell 0.20% to 38.1025. The Nifty April 2020 futures were trading at 8,869.30, a discount of 6.1 points compared with the spot at 8,875.40.

On the options front, the Nifty option chain for 28 May 2020 expiry showed maximum call open interest (OI) of 25.09 lakh contracts at the 10,000 strike price. Maximum put OI of 23.33 lakh contracts was seen at 9,000 strike price.

Buzzing Index:

Shares of IT companies edged higher amid ongoing weakness in the rupee against US dollar. The Nifty IT index rose 0.82% to 13,304.15, amid bargain hunting. The index had fallen 4.21% in the past two sessions.

MindTree (up 3.09%), Infosys (up 1.97%), TCS (up 1.34%), HCL Technologies (up 0.28%), Tech Mahindra (up 0.26%) and Oracle Financial Services Software (up 0.2%) advanced.

MphasiS (down 2.81%), Hexaware Technologies (down 1.83%), Persistent Systems (down 0.95%), Wipro (down 0.41%) declined.

The Indian rupee was trading near the 76 mark against the US dollar. The partially convertible rupee was hovering at 75.9450, compared with its close of 75.5800 during the previous trading session. The rupee hit a low of 75.96 so far during the day.

A weak rupee boosts revenues of IT firms in rupee terms as the sector derives a lion's share of revenue from exports.

Earnings impact:

Tata Chemicals fell 3.82% to Rs 282 after consolidated net profit slumped 48.47% to Rs 197.56 crore on 7.16% decline in revenue from operations to Rs 2,378.09 crore in Q4 March 2020 over Q4 March 2019. Consolidated profit before tax (PBT) dropped 45.28% to Rs 216.88 crore in Q4 March 2020 as against Rs 396.38 crore in Q4 March 2019.

Total tax expenses jumped 49.07% to Rs 19.32 crore in Q4 March 2020 as against Rs 12.96 paid in Q4 March 2019. EBITDA dropped 11% to Rs 400 crore in Q4 March 2020 from Rs 447 crore in Q4 March 2019. EBITDA margin stood unchanged at 17% in Q4 March 2020 compared with the same period last year.

Mahindra & Mahindra Finance tumbled 16.36% to Rs 140.90 after consolidated net profit dropped 65.8% to Rs 234.82 crore on 8.05% rise in total income to Rs 3,148.47 crore in Q4 March 2020 over Q4 March 2019. The company said in order to cover the contingencies that may arise due to COVID-19 Pandemic, it has incorporated the management overlays in the impairment loss allowance and the total provision recognized in the statement of Profit and Loss during the quarter stood at Rs 681.16 crore.

Consolidated Profit Before Tax (PBT) stood at Rs 306.39 crore during the quarter, a decline of 70.6% from Rs 1,041 crore in the same period last year. M&M Finance said standalone Assets Under Management (AUM) grew 12% to Rs 77,160 crore as on 31 March 2020, as against Rs 68,948 crore reported in the same period last year.

L&T Technology Services (LTTS) rose 2.90% to Rs 1099.85 after consolidated net profit gained 0.34% to Rs 204.80 crore on 1.66% increase in net sales to Rs 1,446.60 crore in Q4 March 2020 over Q3 December 2019.

Consolidated profit before tax fell 0.98% to Rs 271.80 crore in Q4 March 2020 as against Rs 274.50 crore in Q3 December 2019. Tax expenses slipped 4.65% at Rs 65.50 crore in Q4 March 2020 as compared to Rs 68.70 crore paid in Q3 December 2019.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 18 2020. 12:20 IST