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Market drifts higher in early trade

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Indian markets were trading with modest gains in early trade on buying demand in index pivotals. At 9:23 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 260.04 points or 0.86% at 30,456.21. The Nifty 50 index was up 83.35 points or 0.94% at 8,962.45.

The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was up 0.68%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index was up 0.41%.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was strong. On the BSE, 629 shares rose and 348 shares fell. A total of 55 shares were unchanged.

Stocks in news:

Bajaj Finance rose 0.75%. Bajaj Finance consolidated net profit declined 19% to Rs 948 crore on 36% increase in total income to Rs 7,231 crore in Q4 March 2020 over Q4 March 2019.

On a consolidated basis, profit before tax (PBT) stood at Rs 1,278 crore in Q4 FY20, down by 29% from Rs 1,812 crore reported in Q4 FY19. Net interest income jumped 38% to Rs 4,684 crore in Q4 FY20 over Q4 FY19. Total operating expenses in the fourth quarter increased 25% to Rs 1,452 crore from Rs 1,164 crore in the corresponding period last year. New loans booked during Q4 FY20 increased by 3% to 6.03 million from 5.83 million in Q4 FY19.

Tata Power Company jumped 5.1% after consolidated net profit surged 230.45% to Rs 402.59 crore on 1.37% fall in total income to Rs 7,953.73 crore in Q4 March 2020 over Q4 March 2019.

Ujjivan Small Finance Bank surged 4.72% after net profit rose 14.69% to Rs 73.15 crore on 34.44% rise in total income to Rs 809.65 crore in Q4 March 2020 over Q4 March 2019.

JMC Projects (India) lost 4.99%. On a consolidated basis, net loss of JMC Projects (India) was Rs 54.76 crore in Q4 March 2020 as against net profit of Rs 35.24 crore in Q4 March 2019. Sales declined 0.43% to Rs 976.28 crore in the quarter ended March 2020 as against Rs 980.46 crore during the previous quarter ended March 2019.

Global Markets:

Overseas, Asian stocks are trading mixed on Wednesday as China's benchmark lending rate was left unchanged.

China held its benchmark lending rate steady as expected on Wednesday, mirroring the central bank's decision last week to keep borrowing costs on medium-term funding for financial institutions unchanged. The one-year loan prime rate (LPR) remained at 3.85% from last month's fixing, while the five-year LPR was also steady at 4.65% from previously.

U.S. stocks finished lower Tuesday, losing steam in the final hour of trade, after a report cast doubt on Moderna's coronavirus vaccine candidate and Wall Street braced for a potentially protracted economic recovery.

Wall Street also digested two hours of congressional testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and parsed earnings reports from major retailers, including Dow components Walmart and Home Depot.

Major averages fell to session lows in the wake of a report that questioned the validity of the results of Moderna's vaccine trial, which the company had announced Monday. Moderna Inc shares plunged after the report, and closed down 10.41%.

Back home, key benchmark indices ended with decent gains on Tuesday, tracking strength in other Asian peers amid optimism about a potential vaccine for the coronavirus. However, gains were capped due to rising coronavirus cases in India. The barometer S&P BSE Sensex rose 167.19 points or 0.56% at 30,196.17. The Nifty 50 index gained 55.85 points or 0.63% at 8,879.10.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 1,328.31 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs), were net buyers to the tune of Rs 1,659.74 crore in the Indian equity market on 19 May, provisional data showed.

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

First Published: Wed, May 20 2020. 09:24 IST