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Sensex clocks gains of 24.88% in FY 2015

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Amid divergent trend among various index constituents, key benchmark indices registered small losses on the last day of the year ended 31 March 2015 (FY 2015). Indian companies and domestic investors follow the period from 1 April to 31 March as their financial year. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, fell below the psychological 28,000 level after surpassing that level after a higher opening. Key indices slipped into the red from green after a sudden slide in mid-afternoon trade. High volatility on the domestic bourses during the latter part of the trading session materialized as European stocks reversed intraday gains after eurozone jobs data showed unemployment this year is higher than previously expected. Just a while before a sudden slide materialized in mid-afternoon trade, the key benchmark indices had extended intraday gains.

The market breadth indicating the overall health of the market was positive. The Sensex fell 18.37 points or 0.07% to settle at 27,957.49. Brent crude oil futures dropped. Fall in crude oil prices augur well for India as the country imports 80% of its crude oil requirements.

In the year ended 31 March 2015 (FY 2015), the Sensex gained 5,571.22 points or 24.88%. The 50-unit CNX Nifty gained 1,786.80 points or 26.65% in FY 2015. The BSE Mid-Cap index gained 3,509.36 points or 49.54% and the BSE Small-Cap index gained 3,818.49 points or 53.99% in FY 2015.

Coming back to today's trade, bank stocks edged lower in volatile trade. Shares of public sector oil marketing companies (PSU OMCs) advanced on slide in global crude oil prices. Index heavyweight and housing finance major HDFC rose in volatile trade. Other index heavyweights viz. L&T, ITC and Infosys edged lower in volatile trade.

Pharma stocks edged higher on renewed buying. Power generation shares edged higher on renewed buying. Shares of power finance companies also gained. Reliance Industries advanced after a foreign brokerage upgraded the stock to overweight from underweight.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 205.44 crore from the secondary equity market yesterday, 30 January 2015, as per data from Central Depository Services (India). Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 651.67 crore yesterday, 30 March 2015, as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges.

In the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged higher against the dollar.

Brent crude oil futures edged lower, extending previous trading session's small decline. For India, the decline in global crude oil prices along with deregulation of diesel price announced by the Indian government in October 2014 will help reduce the government's fuel subsidy burden and help contain its fiscal deficit. The steep slide in global crude oil prices will also help India in containing its current account deficit and fuel price inflation. India imports 80% of its crude oil requirement.

In overseas markets, European stocks reversed intraday gains after eurozone jobs data showed unemployment this year is higher than previously expected. Asian stocks were mixed. US stocks edged higher yesterday, 30 March 2015, with the main indexes booking solid gains for the second straight session, driven by dovish comments from China's central-bank chief as well as a continued flurry of deal announcements.

The Sensex fell 18.37 points or 0.07% to settle at 27,957.49, its lowest closing level since 27 March 2015. The index fell 107.65 points at the day's low of 27,868.21 in late trade. The index jumped 204.78 points at the day's high of 28,180.64 in mid-afternoon trade, its highest level since 25 March 2015.

The 50-unit CNX Nifty fell 1.30 points or 0.02% to settle at 8,491, its lowest closing level since 27 March 2015. The index hit a low of 8,454.15 in intraday trade. The index hit a high of 8,550.45 in intraday trade, its highest level since 25 March 2015.

The BSE Mid-Cap index rose 32.70 points or 0.31% to settle at 10,592.22. The BSE Small-Cap index rose 95.05 points or 0.88% to settle at 10,890.45. Both these indices outperformed the Sensex.

The market breadth indicating the overall health of the market was positive. On BSE, 1,588 shares gained and 1,131 shares fell. A total of 113 shares were unchanged.

The total turnover on BSE amounted to Rs 2969 crore, higher than turnover of Rs 2552.45 crore registered during the previous trading session.

Among the sectoral indices on BSE, the S&P BSE Metal index (down 0.08%), the S&P BSE Realty index (down 0.11%), the S&P BSE FMCG index (down 0.19%), the S&P BSE IT index (down 0.2%), the S&P BSE Capital Goods index (down 0.49%) and the S&P BSE Bankex (down 0.81%) underperformed the Sensex. The S&P BSE Oil & Gas index (up 1.16%), the S&P BSE Healthcare index (up 1.03%), the S&P BSE Auto index (up 0.64%), the S&P BSE Consumer Durables index (up 0.18%), the S&P BSE Power index (up 0.14%) and the S&P BSE Teck index (down 0.05%) outperformed the Sensex.

Shares of state-run gas transmission and distribution major GAIL (India) advanced 2.41% at Rs 389.

Reliance Industries (RIL) edged higher after a foreign brokerage upgraded the stock to overweight from underweight. The stock rose 1.45% at Rs 822.10. The brokerage reportedly said that RIL's profits stagnated for the last five years, leading to underperformance of 80%, adding that foreign institutional investors (FII) ownership and valuations of the stock are at multi year lows.

Shares of public sector oil marketing companies (PSU OMCs) surged after slide in global crude oil prices. BPCL (up 5.02%), HPCL (up 3.66%), Indian Oil Corporation (up 4.01%) edged higher. Lower crude oil prices will reduce under-recoveries of PSU OMCs on domestic sale of LPG and kerosene at government controlled prices. The government has already decontrolled pricing of petrol and diesel.

Bank stocks edged lower in volatile trade. Among public sector banks, Punjab National Bank (down 2.93%), Oriental Bank of Commerce (down 3.07%), Bank of India (down 2.5%), Andhra Bank (down 1.86%), Union Bank of India (down 1.91%), Canara Bank (down 1.93%), Indian Overseas Bank (down 0.82%), IDBI Bank (down 1.67%), Bank of Baroda (down 0.31%), Corporation Bank (down 2.8%), and Syndicate Bank (down 0.83%) edged lower. Bank of Maharashtra (up 2.19%), Central Bank of India (up 1.33%) and Vijaya Bank (up 3.41%) edged higher.

State Bank of India (SBI) declined in volatile trade. The stock fell 0.34% at Rs 267. The stock hit a high of Rs 271.20 and a low of Rs 266. SBI before market hours today, 31 March 2015, said that the Executive Committee of the Central Board (ECCB) of the bank yesterday, 30 March 2015, authorised divestment of SBI's stake in SBI Life Insurance Co. by upto 10%. SBI Life Insurance is a joint venture between SBI and BNP Paribas Cardif. SBI owns 74% of the total capital and BNP Paribas Cardif the remaining 26%.

Among private sector banks, HDFC Bank (down 1.31%), ICICI Bank (down 1.05%), Yes Bank (down 1.12%), IndusInd Bank (down 0.6%), and Kotak Mahindra Bank (down 0.29%) edged lower. South Indian Bank (up 1.81%) and ING Vysya Bank (up 0.63%) edged higher.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to allow commercial banks to utilise upto 50% of countercyclical provisioning buffer/floating provisions held by them as on 31 December 2014 for making specific provisions for non-performing assets, as per the policy approved by a bank's Board of Directors. Earlier, the RBI had in February 2014 allowed banks to utilise upto 33% of countercyclical provisioning buffer/floating provisions held by them as on 31 March 2013 for making specific provisions for non-performing assets. The RBI said in a notification issued yesterday, 30 March 2015, that utilisation of countercyclical provisioning buffer/floating provisions would be over and above the utilisation of countercyclical provisioning buffer/floating provisions as permitted by the RBI on 'Framework for Revitalising Distressed Assets in the Economy - Refinancing of Project Loans, Sale of NPA and Other Regulatory Measures'.

Metal and mining stocks were mixed. National Aluminium Company (up 4.58%), Hindustan Copper (up 0.32%), Jindal Steel & Power (up 0.42%), edged higher. Steel Authority of India (down 1.74%), JSW Steel (down 0.77%), Hindalco Industries (down 2.02%), NMDC (down 1.51%), Hindustan Zinc (down 0.77%) and Tata Steel (down 1.99%) edged lower.

Sesa Sterlite rose 0.58%. Sesa Sterlite announced after market hours yesterday, 30 March 2015, that the shareholders of the company, inter-alia have approved by requisite majority, the name change of the company from its present name - Sesa Sterlite to Vedanta, through Postal Ballot Results announced yesterday, 30 March 2015. Sesa Sterlite is the Indian subsidiary of London listed Vedanta Resources Plc which is a globally diversified natural resources company.

The name change will enable the company to position itself strategically, create much greater value and align our businesses to a unified messaging, Sesa Sterlite said. Tom Albanese, Group CEO, Vedanta, said that the company wants to strengthen the linkage between the global business and global stakeholders, which reflects the company's commitment to creating value through a growing portfolio of global operations. The planned change in name of the company will have no impact on the operations of subsidiary companies Cairn India, Hindustan Zinc (HZL) and Bharat Aluminium Co. (BALCO) and the divisions of Sesa Sterlite, it added.

Pharma stocks edged higher on renewed buying. GlaxoSmithkline Pharmaceuticals (up 4.82%), Cadila Healthcare (up 2.631%), Dr Reddy's Laboratories (up 1.91%), Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (up 0.43%), Ranbaxy Laboratories (up 0.75%), Cipla (up 0.93%) and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals (up 0.48%) edged higher. Lupin shed 0.04%.

Engineering and construction major and index heavyweight L&T slipped 0.47% to Rs 1,720. The stock was volatile. The stock hit high of Rs 1,746.75 and low of Rs 1,712.75. L&T during market hours today, 31 March 2015, said that the company has secured a contract valued at Rs 1432 crore from the Ministry of Defence for the design and construction of seven offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) for the Indian Coast Guard (ICG).

Separately, L&T during market hours also announced that its construction division has secured orders worth Rs 2101 crore across various business segments in this month.

Index heavyweight and housing finance major HDFC rose 0.44% to Rs 1,312. The stock hit high of Rs 1,320.90 and low of Rs 1,298.

Index heavyweight and cigarette major ITC fell 1.16% to Rs 324.10. The stock hit high of Rs 328.35 and low of Rs 323.90.

Index heavyweight and IT major Infosys shed 0.89% to Rs 2,210. The stock hit high of Rs 2,272 and low of Rs 2,204.85.

Power generation shares edged higher on renewed buying. Tata Power Company (up 3.15%), Reliance Infrastructure (up 0.12%), CESC (up 0.98%), JSW Energy (up 0.04%), Jaiprakash Power Ventures (up 0.39%) edged higher. Reliance Power (down 0.09%) and Adani Power (down 0.84%) fell.

NTPC rose 0.2%. NTPC said after market hours yesterday, 30 March 2015, the power generation unit no. 2 of the 200 megawatts (MW) of Koldam Hydro Power Project was commissioned yesterday, 30 March 2015. With this, the total installed capacity of Koldam Hydro Power Project has become 200 MW and the total installed capacity of NTPC group has reached 44,003 MW.

Among power finance companies, shares of REC (up 1.04%) and Power Finance Corporation (up 0.06%) gained.

Power equipment major Bharat Heavy Electricals (Bhel) shed 0.96%. Bhel during market hours today, 31 March 2015, said that the company's 28 megawatts (MW) Nyaborongo-1 hydro electric power plant set up in Rwanda has been inaugurated by Paul Kagame, President, Republic of Rwanda. Bhel has successfully constructed and commissioned the 24 MW hydro power project in the African Region. The project is owned by the Govt. of Rwanda and has been jointly financed under the Govt. of India's Line of Credit and Govt. of Rwanda's own funds. The project has been built by the Govt. of Rwanda under its plan of providing electricity to 70% of the population by 2017 from the current levels of just 17%.

Bhel's scope of work for the Nyaborongo-I project included design, engineering, manufacturing, supply, erection, testing and commissioning of the complete hydro-mechanical and electro-mechanical packages.

Ashok Leyland fell 1.01%. Ashok Leyland after the company after market hours yesterday, 30 March 2015, said that it has divested its entire stake of 100% ownership interest held in Avia Ashok Leyland Motors s.r.o. to a strategic investor as part of restructuring of investment in subsidiaries. The transaction has resulted in the cash realization of $10.96 million to the company, Ashok Leyland said. The relevant agreements to this effect have been signed and closing of the deal has been completed. Consequent to the above, Avia Ashok Leyland Motors s.r.o. has ceased to be a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company with immediate effect.

Separately, Ashok Leyland after market hours yesterday, 30 March 2015, said it has divested 48.5% equity stake held in Ashok Leyland Wind Energy (ALWEL) to a buyer and all the relevant agreements to this effect have been signed and closing of the deal has been completed. As part of the transaction, Ashok Leyland has also sold its windmill assets on slump sale basis. The company has made a profit of Rs 6 crore in these transactions, Ashok Leyland said. After the sale of 48.5% equity stake in ALWEL, Ashok Leyland's shareholding in ALWEL has come down from 60% to 11.5% and hence ALWEL has ceased to be a subsidiary of Ashok Leyland with immediate effect.

The Sensex snapped two-day winning streak today, 31 March 2015. The barometer index had gained 518.28 points or 1.88% in the preceding two trading session to settle at 27,975.86 yesterday, 30 March 2015, from a recent low of 27,457.58 on 26 March 2015. The Sensex declined 1,404.01 points or 4.78% in this month. The Sensex has gained 458.07 points or 1.66% in this calendar year so far (till 31 March 2015). From a 52-week low of 22,185.11 on 28 March 2014, the Sensex has risen 5,772.38 points or 26.01%. The Sensex is off 2,067.25 points or 6.88% from a record high of 30,024.74 hit on 4 March 2015.

In the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged higher against the dollar. The partially convertible rupee was hovering at 62.50, compared with its close of 62.68 during previous trading session.

Brent crude oil futures edged lower, extending previous trading session's small decline. Brent for May settlement was off $1.26 a barrel at $55.03 a barrel. The contract had declined 12 cents or 0.21% to settle at $56.29 a barrel during previous trading session.

In overseas markets, European stocks reversed their initial gains today, 31 March 2015, after eurozone jobs data showed unemployment this year is higher than previously expected. Key benchmark indices in France, Germany, and UK were off 0.51% to 1.09%.

The latest data showed that eurozone unemployment rate for February stood at 11.3%. The joblessness rate for January was also revised up to 11.4%, from 11.2% reported previously.

The eurozone inflation rate improved in March to negative 0.1% from negative 0.3% the previous month, easing fears of deflation in the currency union.

In Germany, the latest data showed that the unemployment rate dropped to a record low of 6.4% in March, from 6.5% in February. German retail sales fell in February on a monthly basis for the first time since September, data from the statistics office showed today, 31 March 2015. Retail sales dropped by 0.5% on the month in real terms in Europe's largest economy. On an annual basis, retail sales expanded by 3.6%, reaching the highest real growth in any February since 2000, the statistics office Destatis said.

Asian stocks were mixed. Key indices in Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Indonesia were up 0.18% to 1.47%. Key indices in China, Japan and Singapore were off 0.21% to 1.02%.

Trading in US index futures indicated that the Dow could fall 102 points at the opening bell today, 31 March 2015. US stocks edged higher yesterday, 30 March 2015, with the main indexes booking solid gains for the second straight session, driven by dovish comments from China's central-bank chief as well as a continued flurry of deal announcements.

Meanwhile, Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer today, 31 March 2015, said that Fed policy makers should start thinking further ahead.

The influential monthly US nonfarm payroll data is due on Friday, 3 April 2015, when the US stock market is closed on account of Good Friday. The US government will announce the payroll report for March 2015 on 3 April 2015.

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First Published: Tue, March 31 2015. 16:44 IST
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