Key benchmarks hovered in a small range in negative zone in mid-afternoon trade. At 14:28 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 39.07 points or 0.11% at 36,355.96. The Nifty 50 index was down 2.90 points or 0.03% at 10,885.90.
Domestic stocks eked out small gains in early trade ahead of release of key domestic macro-economic data. Key indices reversed direction to sink in negative zone in morning trade. Key indices hovered in a small range in mid-morning trade. Key benchmarks trimmed losses after hitting fresh intraday low in afternoon trade.
The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was up 0.11%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index was down 0.22%.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was negative. On the BSE, 1030 shares rose and 1379 shares fell. A total of 141 shares were unchanged.
Coal India (up 1.87%), Tata Steel (up 1.85%), and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (up 1.13%) edged higher from the Sensex pack.
HDFC (down 1.85%), HCL Technologies (down 1.72%), Hero MotoCorp (down 1.72%), Infosys (down 1.59%) and ONGC (down 1.26%) edged lower from the Sensex pack.
Hindalco Industries was up 0.51% after the company reported Q3 December 2018 results during trading hours today, 12 February 2019. The company's profit after tax rose 47.31% to Rs 713 crore on 8.09% increase in revenue from operations to Rs 11,938 crore in Q3 December 2018 over Q3 December 2017.
Total EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) rose 3.49% to Rs 1,926 crore in Q3 December 2018 over Q3 December 2017.
The financials include relevant numbers of Utkal Alumina International (100% subsidiary of Hindalco), from its accounts, to present a comprehensive view of the business. For this purpose, standard principles of consolidation have been applied by elimination of inter-company transactions and unrealised profit or loss in the inventory. For comparison purposes, previous period numbers have also been presented in a similar manner.
The company said that Q3 numbers were backed by supporting macros, improvement in operational efficiencies and better realisations. This was despite increase in input costs, mainly of coal and furnace oil. Interest expense was lower by 12% at Rs 477 crore, mainly due to re-pricing of long term project loans and loan re-payments. The rise in profit after tax was driven by higher EBITDA and lower finance costs. Net Debt to EBITDA (on TTM Basis) at end December 2018 improved to 2.36x from 2.67x at end March 2018. Under its continuous deleveraging focus, the company has prepaid another Rs 1,575 crore in October 2018.
On the macro front, data of Consumer Price Index (CPI) for January and Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for December 2018 is slated to be released after market hours today, 12 February 2019. India's industrial production growth slowed sharply to 0.5% year-on-year in November 2018 from an upwardly revised 11-month high of 8.4% in the previous month.
Overseas, stocks in Europe moved higher Tuesday as investors monitored trade and political developments. The UK, meanwhile, is bracing to exit the European Union on March 29 with or without a trade agreement in hand. UK Prime Minister Theresa May will update lawmakers on the latest Brexit developments.
Most Asian stocks rose with investors looking to a new round of Sino-US trade talks as the world's two largest economies try to resolve a tariff dispute that has put a dent on global growth and corporate earnings.
US stocks closed mostly higher Monday after a choppy session as a round of US-China tariff negotiations in Beijing commenced and as the threat of another partial government shutdown loomed.
The latest round of trade negotiations between the US and China began Monday with working-level talks in Beijing, while Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are reportedly due to arrive Thursday for more high-level discussions.
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