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Market drifts higher in early trade

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Local stocks drifted higher in early trade on buying demand in index pivotals. At 9:23 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 283.80 points or 0.73% at 39,095.19. The Nifty 50 index was up 86.10 points or 0.74% at 11,870.95. A steep slide in crude oil prices also boosted investors sentiment.

The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was up 0.53%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index was up 0.56%. Both these indices underperformed the Sensex.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was strong. On the BSE, 746 shares rose and 247 shares fell. A total of 32 shares were unchanged.

Cipla rose 0.82% after the company signed an agreement on Thursday to acquire 26% stake on a fully diluted basis in AMPSolar Power Systems, which is formed for the purpose of setting up a captive solar power project in Maharashtra. The company will invest Rs 12.90 crore for the acquisition, which will be through share purchase, subscription of equity shares and compulsorily convertible debentures. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 23 May 2019.

Sun TV Network fell 1.04% after the company's net profit fell 2.3% to Rs 283.07 crore on 24% increase in net sales to Rs 888.88 crore in Q4 March 2019 over Q4 March 2018. The subscription revenues for the quarter rose by about 4% at Rs 319.77 crore, as against Rs 308.84 crore for the corresponding quarter ended 31 March 2018. EBITDA for the quarter ended 31 March 2019 rose about 16% at Rs 608.40 crore as against Rs 522.40 crore for the previous quarter ended 31 March 2018. The result was announced after market hours yesterday, 23 May 2019.

MOIL gained 2.62% after the company signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for FY 2019-20 with the Ministry of Steel. The MoU envisages an ambitious production target of 14.75 lakh tonnes of manganese ore and capex target of Rs 210 crore, besides other parameters related to turnover, financials, project implementation, R&D, human resource management, etc. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 23 May 2019.

The Indian electorate gave a decisive verdict in favour of the BJP and its allies. Latest trends showed that Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) won 291 seats and was leading in 12 seats. The Indian National Congress (INC) won 51 seats. The 2019 Lok Sabha polls for 542 seats were held from April 11 to May 19. A party or coalition needs 272 seats in parliament to form a government.

In commodity markets, crude oil prices plunged on Thursday, as trade tensions dampened the demand outlook. Brent for July 2019 settlement tumbled $3.23 a barrel or 4.55% to settle at $67.76 a barrel.

Overseas, Asian shares were mixed on Friday as investors remained worried over trade tensions between the United States and China.

In US, stocks declined as investors were concerned the trade war may last much longer than anticipated. Data showed that manufacturing activity in the US grew at its slowest pace since September 2009 this month.

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

First Published: Fri, May 24 2019. 09:29 IST