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Indices trade in narrow range

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Key barometers were trading in narrow band in afternoon trade. Investors looked forward to US President-elect Joe Biden's major COVID-19 relief package to be unveiled on Thursday.

At 13:20 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rose 42.53 points or 0.09% at 49,534.85. The Nifty 50 index gained 19.50 points or 0.13% at 14,584.35.

In the broader market, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index added 0.19%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index rose 0.14%.

The market breadth was almost even. On the BSE, 1,439 shares rose and 1,422 shares fell. A total of 170 shares were unchanged. In Nifty 50 index, 21 stocks advanced while 29 stocks declined.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth Rs 1,879.06 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs), were net sellers to the tune of Rs 2,370.17 crore in the Indian equity market on 13 January 2021, provisional data showed.

COVID-19 Update:

Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 9,23,51,683 with 19,78,629 deaths. India reported 2,13,603 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 1,51,727 deaths while 1,01,46,763 patients have been discharged, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.


India's wholesale prices rose by 1.22% year-on-year in December 2020, slowing from a 1.55% gain in November 2020 and 2.76% in December 2019.

Meanwhile, Fitch Ratings projected India's medium-term growth to slow down to 6.5% from FY23 onward, after the initial rebound to 11% in FY22, as the economy suffers lasting damage from the pandemic. The agency downgraded its projection of supply-side potential growth to 5.1% annually over the five-year period from 2020-25 compared to its pre-pandemic expectation of 7%.

Gainers & Losers:

UPL (up 3.93%), IndusInd Bank (up 3.17%), TCS (up 2.03%), GAIL (India) (up 1.98%) and BPCL (up 1.75%) were major gainers in Nifty 50 index.

HCL Technologies (down 2.69%), JSW Steel (down 2%), Grasim Industries (down 1.85%), Tech Mahindra (down 1.71%) and Asian Paints (down 1.50%) were major losers in Nifty 50 index.

Earning Impact:

Infosys fell 1.53%. On a consolidated basis, the IT major's net profit jumped 16.6% to Rs 5,197 crore on a 12.3% rise in revenues to Rs 25,927 crore in Q3 December 2020 (Q3 FY21) over Q3 December 2019 (Q3 FY20).

Sequentially, Infosys net profit rose 7.3% and revenue increased 5.5% in Q3 FY21 over Q2 September 2020 (Q2 FY21). Profit before tax (PBT) stood at Rs 7,151 crore in Q3 FY21, gaining 5.9% over Rs 6,750 crore in Q2 FY21. Income tax expense rose 2.3% to Rs 1,936 crore in Q3 FY21 over Q2 FY21.

Operating profit rose 5.8% to 6,589 crore in Q3 FY21 over Q2 FY21. Operating margin stood at 25.4% in Q3 FY21, higher than 25.3% in Q2 FY21 and 21.9% in Q3 FY20. The company has revised FY21 growth guidance upward to 4.5% to 5% in constant currency term. Operating margin for FY21 is revised upward in the range of 24% to 24.5%.

Wipro slipped 1.28%. The IT major, after market hours yesterday, 13 January 2021, posted a 20.37% rise in consolidated net profit to Rs 2,968 crore on a 3.68% increase in revenue to Rs 15,670 crore in Q3 December 2020 (Q3 FY21) over Q2 September 2020 (Q2 FY21).

The company's consolidated net profit grew by 20.85% and revenue has risen by 1.29% in Q3 FY21 over Q3 FY20. Profit before tax (PBT) in Q3 FY21 stood at Rs 3850.4 crore, up by 20% from Rs 3,207.30 crore in Q2 FY21. Total tax expense during the third quarter increased 18% to Rs 852.6 crore in Q3 December 2020.

Wipro's IT services segment revenue came at $2,071 million in Q3 FY21, a sequential growth of 3.9%. The company's non-GAAP constant currency IT services segment revenue increased by 3.4% quarter on quarter. The company said its IT services operating margin grew by 243 basis points quarter on quarter to 21.7% in Q3 FY21.

Stocks in Spotlight:

NHPC rose 0.40%. The company has terminated an agreement to form a joint venture company with Reliance Infrastructure and Parbati Koldam Transmission Company. Power Grid Corporation of India (POWERGRID) had signed the 'termination agreement' amongst Reliance Infrastructure (Rlnfra) and Parbati Koldam Transmission Company (PKTCL) terminating the shareholders' agreement dated 23 November 2007. The agreement was executed between POWERGRID, Rlnfra and PKTCL to form a joint venture company named PKTCL, wherein POWERGRID and Rlnfra held 26% and 74% stake, respectively.

Larsen & Toubro (L&T) gained 1.82% after its construction arm secured 'significant' orders from various businesses. As per L&T's classification, the valuation of the 'significant' contract lies between Rs 1,000 crore to Rs 2,500 crore.

NTPC skid 0.24%. Its subsidiary, THDC India's maiden solar power project of 50 megawatts at Kasargod Solar Park at Kerala is declared on commercial operation from 31 December 2020. THDC India is a subsidiary of NTPC. With this, the commissioned as well as commercial capacity of THDC India and NTPC group has become 1,587 mega-watt (MW) and 62,975 mega-watt (MW) respectively.

Global Markets:

European stocks opened higher while most Asian stocks advanced on Thursday despite ongoing concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic and political turbulence in the U.S. Vaccination rollouts across the continent have raised hopes that an end to the pandemic is on its way.

Trial data published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine reportedly showed Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine is safe and appears to generate an immune response in both young and elderly volunteers. J&J's vaccine candidate, which only requires one dose, could simplify logistics for health-care providers. The two vaccines currently authorized by the Food and Drug Administration from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna require two doses about three to four weeks apart.

In US, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite closed slightly higher on Wednesday, led by tech shares, as traders kept an eye on interest rates, the political uncertainty coming out of Washington and a still raging pandemic. President-elect Joe Biden is expected to release details on his economic plan on Thursday.

The S&P 500 index gained 0.2% to end the day at 3,809.84, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq advanced 0.4% to 13,128.95. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed just 8.22 points lower, or 0.03%, at 31,060.47.

Meanwhile, turmoil in Washington continues with the House on Wednesday impeaching U.S. President Donald Trump for inciting the attack on the U.S. Capitol last week.

The riots led to the death of five people and raised questions in the U.S. and around the world about the integrity of U.S. democracy and a smooth transfer of presidential power. The Wall Street Journal reported that it was the fastest impeachment vote assembled in the nation's history.

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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, January 14 2021. 13:25 IST