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Sensex climbs 350 pts; India VIX slumps 8%

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Key equity barometers rallied further and hit fresh intraday high in afternoon trade led by fresh buying support. The Nifty scaled 9150 level and continued its ascend towards 9200 mark. A slump in NSE India VIX also supported the uptrend. The NSE's India VIX, a gauge of market's expectation of volatility over the near term, slumped 8% to 32.94.

At 13:26 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, surged 345.28 points or 1.12% at 31,162.13. The Nifty 50 index rose 101.35 points or 1.12% at 9,167.60. The volatility was high due to expiry of weekly index options on NSE.

Investors risk appetite improved after the government announced resumption of domestic airline operations from 25 May, almost two month after the operations were suspended on 25 March.

The broader market slightly outperformed the benchmark indices. The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index added 1.36% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index gained 1.49%.

The market breadth was strong. On the BSE, 1378 shares rose and 667 shares fell. A total of 151 shares were unchanged. In the Nifty 50 index, 33 shares advanced while 17 stocks declined.

The sentiment, however, was cautious after ratings agency ICRA said that modest fiscal support, extension of lockdown, looming labour supply mismatches suggest deeper GDP contraction of 5% in FY2021.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 1,466.52 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs), were net buyers to the tune of Rs 2,373.19 crore in the Indian equity market on 20 May, provisional data showed.

COVID-19 Update:

Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 49,96,634 far with 3,28,120 deaths. India reported 63,624 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 3,435 deaths, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

In a bid to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Centre on 17 May 2020 extended the nationwide lockdown till 31 May 2020.

Gainers & Losers:

Hindalco Industries (up 4.64%), Bajaj Auto (up 4.11%), Bharti Infratel (up 3.46%), ITC (up 3.36%) and Hero MotoCorp (up 3.42%) were top gainers in Nifty 50 index.

Shree Cements (down 2.91%), NTPC (down 2.26%), Grasim (down 1.89%), Dr. Reddy's Laboratories (down 1.69%) and Adani Ports & SEZ (down 1.59%) were top losers in Nifty 50 index.

Q4 Results Today:

Bajaj Finserv (down 1.14%), Hindustan Zinc (up 0.64%), Colgate-Palmolive (India) (down 0.75%), Bajaj Holdings & Investment (up 4.33%), Tata Metaliks (up 1.02%), Birla Corporation (up 4.73%), Quick Heal Technologies (up 5.48%), VST Industries (up 3.43%) and Hawkins Cookers (up 3.3%) are some of the companies that will announce their quarterly earnings today.

Earnings Impact:

Bajaj Auto was up 2.81%. The auto maker's consolidated reported net profit fell 3.9% to Rs 1,353.99 crore on 8.5% decline in net sales to Rs 6,610.90 crore in Q4 March 2020 over Q4 March 2019. Profit before tax (PBT) slipped 10.8% to Rs 1,764.93 crore during the period under review. Current tax expenses jumped 14.8% to Rs 411.33 crore in Q4 March 2020 over Q4 March 2019.

The auto maker's total sales volume declined 17% to 9.91 lakh units in Q4 FY20 as against 11.93 lakh units in Q4 FY19.

Domestic sales volumes slumped 33% to 4.78 lakh units while exports gained 7% to 5.13 lakh units during the quarter.

Jubilant FoodWorks rose 3.38%. On a consolidated basis, the company reported a 58% drop in net profit to Rs 32.53 crore on 4.1% rise in net sales to Rs 908.75 crore in Q4 March 2020 over Q4 March 2019. Net profit was impacted after the company made an exceptional item for the quarter ending 31 March 2020 of Rs 12.39 crore. The company said exceptional item were related to expenses consequential of Covid-19 pandemic situation.

Domino's Same-store-sales growth (SSG) which refers to the year-over-year growth in sales for restaurants opened before previous financial year stood at -3.4% in Q4 March 2020 compared with 6% posted in the same period last year. Like for Like (LFL) sales growth for Domino's Pizza stood at -2.3% in Q4 March 2020 as against 7.4% in Q4 March 2019.

Ajanta Pharma jumped 4.56% after consolidated net profit jumped 45.3% to Rs 129.16 crore on 32.4% surge in net sales to Rs 681.96 crore in Q4 March 2020 over Q4 March 2019. Consolidated EBITDA grew at 19% to Rs 151 crore in Q4 March 2020 over Q4 March 2019. During the quarter, India sales were up 11% to Rs 177 crore in Q4 March 2020 as compared to Rs 159 crore in Q4 March 2019. As per IQVIA MAT March 2020, the company posted a healthy growth of 11% in Cardiology (segment growth of 11%), 17% in Ophthalmology (segment growth of 11%), 6% in Dermatology (segment growth of 9%) and 16% in Pain Management (segment growth of 12%). Total exports soared 43% to Rs 490 crore in Q4 March 2020 from Rs 343 crore in Q4 March 2019. The company said R&D expenses were at Rs 50 crore in Q4 March 2020, (Q4 FY 2019 Rs 40 crore) which is 7% of operating revenue.

Global Markets:

European markets opened lower as tensions between US and China spooked investors. Meanwhile, Asian markets were trading mixed as investors continue to monitor the reopening of economies amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Japan's trade data for April released by the country's Ministry of Finance on Thursday showed exports in April plunging 21.9% as compared to a year earlier.

US stock markets nudged higher on Wednesday, following upbeat quarterly results from retailers Target and Lowe's that had investors focused on American businesses reopening and the coronavirus pandemic beginning to recede.

Investors focused on the positives and directed their attention to wider reopening plans that are taking place throughout the U. S. Many states have been lifting restrictions on business and personal activity ahead of the Memorial Day holiday next Monday.

The Senate approved the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, which seeks to force Chinese companies to adhere to U. S. securities law, ultimately by barring many from listing shares on U. S. exchanges, or otherwise raising money from American investors. The bill still would need to pass the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives before reaching the president's desk to be signed into law.

Minutes of the Fed's last policy meeting in April published Wednesday showed officials also discussed how to convince markets that interest rates will stay low for a long time.

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

First Published: Thu, May 21 2020. 13:27 IST