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Metal shares in demand

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Key benchmark indices were trading higher after hitting fresh intraday high in morning trade. At 10:20 IST, the barometer index, the S&P Sensex, was up 169.77 points or 0.53% at 32,351.99. The 50 index was up 48.80 points or 0.48% at 10,145.20.

Investors risk appetite improved on anticipation that a rise in industrial production and a steady inflation could increase pressure on the central bank to reduce interest rates to boost economic activity. Positive cues from the Asian market also boosted sentiment. Gains were supported by strength in index pivotals Reliance Industries and Bharti Airtel.

The and the Nifty, both, hit their highest intraday levels in more than three weeks in morning trade. The rose 215.95 points, or 0.67% at the day's high of 32,398.17 in morning trade, its highest intraday level since 21 September 2017. The index rose 65.52 points, or 0.20% at the day's low of 32,247.74 in early trade. The rose 64.65 points, or 0.64% at the day's high of 10,161.05 in morning trade, its highest intraday level since 20 September 2017. The index rose 23.70 points, or 0.23% at the day's low of 10,120.10 in early trade.

Among secondary barometers, the Mid-Cap index was up 0.16%. The Small-Cap index was up 0.36%. Both these indices underperformed the

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was strong. On BSE, 1,274 rose and 827 fell. A total of 87 were unchanged.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries (RIL) was up 0.80% to Rs 879.45. The company will announce Q2 results today, 13 October 2017.

Bharti Airtel was up 6.71% and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) (TTML) hit an upper circuit limit of 10%. Telecom major Bharti Airtel and Tata, India's leading conglomerate, announced after market hours yesterday, 12 October 2017, that they have entered into an understanding to merge consumer mobile businesses (CMB) of Tata Teleservices (TTSL) and TTML into Bharti Airtel. The acquisition is subject to requisite regulatory approvals. As part of the agreement, Bharti Airtel will absorb Tata CMB's operations across the country in nineteen circles (17 under TTSL and 2 under TTML). These circles represent bulk of India's population and customer base.

The proposed merger will include transfer of all the customers and assets of Tata CMB to Bharti Airtel, further augmenting Bharti Airtel's overall customer base and network. The merger is being done on a debt-free cash-free basis, except for Bharti Airtel assuming a small portion of the unpaid spectrum liability of Tata's towards the DoT, which is to be paid on deferred basis. The employees of Tata will be demerged on the lines of the two businesses i.e. CMB and EFL (enterprise and fixed line and broadband), and post an optimal manpower planning will be moved accordingly. Tata will retain its stake in Viom, and will take care of the liabilities associated with it.

Separately, Bharti Airtel said that its board approved the scheme of amalgamation between Tikona Digital Networks and Bharti Airtel and their respective shareholders and creditors.

Metal shares were in demand. Tata Steel (up 2.19%), Steel Authority of India (up 1.96%), Hindustan Zinc (up 1.29%), Bhushan Steel (up 1.15%), NMDC (up 1.05%), Hindustan Copper (up 0.95%), JSW Steel (up 0.90%), Vedanta (up 0.86%), Jindal Steel & Power (up 0.56%), Hindalco Industries (up 0.15%) and National Aluminium Company (up 0.12%), edged higher.

Meanwhile, copper price edged lower in the global commodities markets. High Grade Copper for December 2017 delivery was currently down 0.03% at $3.119 per pound on the COMEX.

IT stocks rose. HCL Technologies (up 1.22%), Hexaware Technologies (up 0.88%), MindTree (up 0.80%), MphasiS (up 0.79%), Wipro (up 0.77%), Tech Mahindra (up 0.63%), Infosys (up 0.30%) and Oracle Financial Services Software (up 0.22%), edged higher. Persistent Systems was down 0.09%.

IT major TCS rose 1.25% to Rs 2,580.50 after the company reported 8.4% rise in consolidated net profit to Rs 6446 crore on 3.2% rise in revenue to Rs 30541 crore in Q2 September 2017 over Q1 June 2017. The result was announced after market hours yesterday, 12 October 2017.

TCS' operating margin rose by 1.7% to 25.1% in Q2 September 2017 compared with Q1 June 2017. The company announced interim dividend of Rs 7 per share. TCS said that strong revenue growth was visible across verticals in the Q2 September 2017. With the exception of retail and CMI, all industry verticals grew above the company average, led by travel & hospitality (up 8% q-o-q), energy & utilities (up 7.2% q-o-q) and life sciences & healthcare (up 3.6% q-o-q). Growth was led by Europe (up 5.3% q-o-q), Latin America (up 5.7% q-o-q), APAC (up 3% q-o-q) and UK (up 2.5% q-o-q). North America grew by 1.4% q-o-q with continued softness in Banking and Retail, TCS said.

Commenting on the Q2 performance, Rajesh Gopinathan, CEO and MD, said that the company experienced robust volume growth in Q2, driven by good demand across multiple industry verticals. Large deal wins this quarter, a good pipeline, and bottoming out of the retail sector softness positions the company well, Rajesh Gopinathan said.

N. Ganapathy Subramaniam, Chief Operating Officer & Executive Director, said that with the sectoral headwinds slowly abating, the company expects steadier and stronger growth ahead.

On the macro front, India's industrial production grew 4.3% in August 2017 over August 2016, while showing sharp improvement in growth from 0.9% increase in July 2017. The manufacturing sectors production improved 3.1% in August 2017, snapping decline in output for last two straight months. The electricity generation increased at improved pace of 8.3% and mining output also gained 4.3% in August 2017. The growth for July 2017 has been revised downwards to 0.9% from 1.2% reported earlier. The data was unveiled after market hours yesterday, 12 October 2017.

The all-India general consumer price index (CPI) inflation was flat at 3.28% in September 2017 compared with 3.28% in August 2017, after rising for last two months from 1.5% in June 2017. The data was unveiled after market hours yesterday, 12 October 2017.

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday, 12 October 2017, announced elections in Himachal Pradesh, but held off on making an announcement for Gujarat. Voting for the 68-seat Himachal Pradesh assembly will take place on 9 November 2017 and the results will be declared on 18 December 2017. Gujarat polls, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) A K Joti reportedly said, will be announced later, but he added voting will wind up before Himachal results are declared. While Gujarat Assembly's term ends on 22 January 2018, Himachal Pradesh's finishes on 7 January 2018. The EC normally holds elections together in states where the incumbent governments are completing their five-year term within six months. The poll dates for these states are announced simultaneously.

Overseas, Asian stocks were trading higher. Investors were cautious ahead of US and Chinese economic data as well as the Chinese Communist Party congress next week.

The US stock finished slightly lower on Thursday, even as Wall Street banks turned in generally upbeat results. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.14%. The S&P 500 shed 0.17%, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.18%.

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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, October 13 2017. 10:20 IST