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Benchmarks end almost flat amid volatility; Nifty ends near 14,900

Capital Market 

The domestic equity indices advanced for the fourth trading session on Thursday. The Nifty closed a tad below 14,900 level after briefly crossing the 15,000 mark in early trade. Trading was volatile due to expiry of monthly derivatives contracts on the NSE today. Metal stocks continued to outshine other sectors on strong outlook. Global stock markets were positive after the US Federal Reserve pledged to maintain easy monetary policy to aid economic recovery.

The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rose 32.10 points or 0.06% at 49,765.94. The Nifty 50 index added 30.35 points or 0.20% at 14,894.90. Both these indices jumped about 3.9% in four straight sessions.

Bajaj Finserve (up 6.60%), Bajaj Finance (up 3.89%), Axis Bank (up 1.65%) and Reliance Industries (up 1.36%) supported the indices.

In the broader market, the BSE Mid-Cap index fell 0.18% and the BSE Small-Cap index gained 0.13%.

The market breadth was negative. On the BSE, 1394 shares rose and 1545 shares fell. A total of 183 shares were unchanged.

COVID-19 Update:

Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 14,96,38,312 with 31,51,142 deaths. India reported 30,84,814 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 2,04,832 deaths while 1,50,86,878 patients have been discharged, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

On Wednesday, 14 states and UTs recorded their highest single-day case count on Wednesday, with India reporting nearly 3.8 lakh cases in last 24 hours and over 3,000 deaths.

Politics:

The eighth and final phase of voting in Bengal is underway today. All eyes will be glued to the exit polls for four states and one Union Territory. As per the Election Commission, exit polls for West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry can be published at 7.30 PM today (29 April, Thursday) an hour after polls close. Votes will be counted on 2 May 2021.

Numbers to Watch:

The yield on 10-year benchmark federal paper rose to 6.063% as compared with 6.053% at close in the previous trading session.

In the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged lower against the dollar. The partially convertible rupee was hovering at 74.07, compared with its close of 74.36 during the previous trading session.

MCX Gold futures for 4 June 2021 settlement fell 0.37% to Rs 46,920.

The US Dollar index (DXY), which tracks the greenback's value against a basket of currencies, rose 0.07% to 90.67.

In the commodities market, Brent crude for June 2021 settlement rose 93 cents at $68.20 a barrel. The contract rose 85 cents, or 1.28% to settle at $67.27 a barrel in the previous trading session.

Foreign Markets:

Shares in Europe and Asia advanced on Thursday, bolstered by the US Federal Reserve's pledge to maintain easy monetary policy to aid economic recovery.

The US stocks ended lower on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve held interest rates and its monthly bond-buying program steady and gave no sign it was ready to reduce its support for the recovery.

The Fed left its benchmark short-term rate near zero, where it's been since the pandemic erupted nearly a year ago, to help keep loan rates down to encourage borrowing and spending. It also said in a statement after its latest policy meeting that it would keep buying $120 billion in bonds each month to try to keep longer-term borrowing rates low.

In a statement Wednesday, the Fed said the economy and job market have strengthened, and while inflation has risen, Fed policymakers ascribed the increase to temporary factors.

Buzzing Indian Segment:

The Nifty Metal index jumped 4.53% to 4,855.30. The index fell 0.30% in the previous session.

JSW Steel (up 9.59%), SAIL (up 8.7%), Tata Steel (up 6.55%), NALCO (up 5.65%), NMDC (up 4.57%), Vedanta (up 4.57%), MOIL (up 4.04%), Hindalco Industries (up 2.18%) and JSPL (up 1.98%) advanced.

Steel makers were in demand after China tweaked its import and export levies on steel. China has announced the removal of VAT rebates on exports of 146 steel products from 1 May. The rebate of 13% of the VAT charged on exports of hot rolled coil, wire rod and rebar will no longer apply from May. Cold rolled steel sheet, hot-dip galvanized sheet and narrow strip were also on the list of products that have had the rebate removed.

Stocks in Focus:

Bajaj Auto fell 1.44%. On a standalone basis, the company recorded 2% increase in net profit to Rs 1,332 crore on 26% rise in revenue from operations to Rs 8,596 crore in Q4 FY21 over Q4 FY20. EBITDA jumped 20% to Rs 1,558 crore in the fourth quarter from Rs 1,293 crore reported in the same period last year. EBITDA margin was at 18.1% as on 31 March 2021 as against 19% as on 31 March 2020. The company said that Q4 FY21 witnessed a sharp increase in input costs and input costs continued to increase in Q1 FY22 as well.

Bajaj Auto's total vehicles sales increased 18% to 11,69,664 vehicles in Q4 FY21 from 991,961 vehicles sold in Q4 FY20.

Separately, the auto maker informed that Rahul Bajaj has resigned as non-executive director and chairman of the company with effect from close of business hours on 30 April 2021. The board has approved his appointment as chairman emeritus of the company for a term of five years with effect from 1 May 2021.

Hindustan Unilever (HUL) rose 0.09%. The FMCG major's standalone net profit surged 41.07% to Rs 2,143 crore on 34.46% jump in revenue from operations to Rs 11,947 crore in Q4 FY21 over Q4 FY20.

The growth in the quarter was competitive and profitable with domestic consumer growth at 21% Y-o-Y (year-on-year) with underlying volume growth of 16%. Health, hygiene and nutrition forming 80% of business grew in double-digits for the third consecutive quarter, while discretionary and out-of-home categories improved sequentially.

Home Care grew 15% Y-o-Y, backed by a strong recovery in fabric wash. Beauty & personal care segment climbed 20% Y-o-Y with skin cleansing, hair care and oral care delivering high double-digit growths. Foods & refreshment segment delivered another quarter of strong performance and galloping 36% Y-o-Y.

Laurus Labs fell 3.46%. The drug maker's consolidated net profit soared 170% to Rs 297 crore on 68% surge in net sales to Rs 1,412 crore in Q4 FY21 over Q4 FY20. On a consolidated basis, EBITDA grew 147% to Rs 477 crore in Q4 FY21 over Q4 FY20 while EBITDA margins stood at 34%. The board approved an interim dividend amounting to Re 0.80 per share.

Biocon rose 0.77%. The company reported 105% jump in consolidated net profit to Rs 254 crore in Q4 FY21 from Rs 123 crore in Q4 FY20. Revenue from operations rose 18% year-on-year (YoY) to Rs 1,839 crore during the quarter. On the segment front, revenue from generics was Rs 578 crore (up 3% YoY), revenue from biosimilars was Rs 664 crore (up 53% YoY) and revenue from research services was Rs 659 crore (up 8% YoY) in the fourth quarter. EBITDA increased by 68% to Rs 641 crore in Q4 March 2021 as against Rs 382 crore in Q4 March 2020.

UTI Asset Management Company (UTI AMC) rose 2.78%. The company reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 133.92 crore in Q4 FY21 compared with net loss of Rs 25.48 crore in Q4 FY20. Total income during the quarter increased 100.7% to Rs 292.98 crore from Rs 145.98 crore recorded in the corresponding quarter last year. Operating expenses declined by 12% to Rs 141 crore in Q4 FY21 over Q4 FY20. The asset manager reported a pre-tax profit of Rs 151.62 crore in Q4 March 2021 as against a pre-tax loss of Rs 14.97 crore in Q4 March 2020.

ONGC rose 0.19%. The state-run oil major said that ONGC Videsh consortium has put LNG project in Mozambique on hold due to force majeure.

Separately, ONGC on Wednesday said it will invite foreign partners to explore the blocks that the firm has been allotted under Category-II and Category-III basins. "ONGC is also looking into strategic relationships and close alliances with key international players through (overseas arm) ONGC Videsh," the company said in a statement. "Intention is to invite foreign participations to explore Category-II and Category-III basins which match size and scale of expectations and portfolio of these large players," ONGC said in a statement.

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

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First Published: Thu, April 29 2021. 16:52 IST
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