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Sensex, Nifty settle with small gains

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Key equity indices ended with small gains in a lackluster trading session. Most auto stocks advanced. The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was weak.

The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rose 34.07 points or 0.09% to settle at 36,616.81. The index hit high of 36,727.83 and low of 36,495.83 in intraday trade.

The Nifty 50 index rose 22.10 points or 0.20% to settle at 10,934.35. The index hit high of 10,956.70 and low of 10,886.70 in intraday trade.

After trading almost flat in early trade, indices inched up in morning trade. Indices traded in a narrow range near flat line in mid-morning trade. Key benchmarks firmed up and hit fresh intraday high in early afternoon trade. Stocks held positive zone in afternoon trade.

Broader market witnessed selling. Among secondary barometers, the BSE Mid-Cap index fell 0.54%. The BSE Small-Cap index fell 0.91%.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was weak. On BSE, 859 shares rose and 1703 shares fell. A total of 147 shares were unchanged.

Among the sectoral indices on BSE, the S&P BSE Realty index (down 2.14%), the S&P BSE Capital Goods index (down 1%), the S&P BSE Power index (down 1.03%) underperformed the Sensex. The S&P BSE Consumer Durables index (up 1.18%), the S&P BSE Auto index (up 0.88%), the S&P BSE Consumer Discretionary Goods & Services index (up 0.58%) outperformed the Sensex.

Most auto stocks advanced. Hero MotoCorp (up 2.66%), Bajaj Auto (up 2.46%), Maruti Suzuki India (up 1.84%), Mahindra & Mahindra (up 1.4%), Eicher Motors (up 1.64%) and Escorts (up 0.86%) edged higher. TVS Motor Company (down 0.41%), Ashok Leyland (down 0.55%) and Tata Motors (down 2.63%) edged lower.

Coal India fell 2.48% to Rs 216.55. The company said that its board of directors has approved the buyback proposal of equity shares not exceeding 4.46 crore equity shares at Rs 235 per share for an aggregate consideration not exceeding Rs 1050 crore on a proportionate basis through the tender offer route. Coal India has fixed record date as 15 February 2019 for the purpose of ascertaining the eligibility of the shareholders to participate in the buyback. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 4 February 2019.

Bharti Airtel rose 0.41%. Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the senior unsecured rating for Bharti Airtel to Ba1, or junk, from Baa3 as well as the backed senior unsecured notes issued by Bharti's wholly owned subsidiary, Bharti Airtel Int'l (Netherlands) B.V. Moody's has assigned a Ba1 corporate family rating (CFR) to Bharti and withdrawn the company's Baa3 issuer rating. The investors' service company in a statement on Tuesday said that its ratings outlook is negative.

GAIL (India) rose 0.35% after net profit rose 33.19% to Rs 1681.23 crore on 36.16% increase in total income to Rs 20009.03 crore in Q3 December 2018 over Q3 December 2017. The result was announced during trading hours today, 5 February 2019.

Cement major ACC lost 1.39% after the company announced its Q4 result during trading hours today, 5 February 2019. On a consolidated basis, ACC reported profit after tax of Rs 732 crore in Q4 December 2018 as compared to Rs 206 crore in Q4 December 2017. Profit after tax of Q4 December 2018 includes write-back of Rs 501 crore relating to tax provisions of earlier years. Net sales rose 10.88% to Rs 3789 crore in Q4 December 2018 over Q4 December 2017.

In its outlook ACC said that in the recently announced budget 2019, the Government has indicated its commitment to further augment the infrastructure sector (railways, roads, highways and irrigation projects). Government's concerted efforts to increase investment across several sectors will have a favorable impact which will stimulate cement demand and boost economic growth. This will open up more opportunities and cement as a core sector will continue to benefit from the India growth story.

Godrej Agrovet lost 3.56%. On a consolidated basis, Godrej Agrovet's net profit fell 17.45% to Rs 40.92 crore on 17.53% rise in total income to Rs 1462.27 crore in Q3 December 2018 over Q3 December 2017. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 4 February 2019.

Suzlon Energy slumped 23.26% to Rs 3.63. The company clarified during trading hours today, 5 February 2019, that none of the shares of the promoters held in the company have been invoked. Further, the promoters' shareholding in the company has been pledged for collaterally securing the obligations of the lenders of the company and not towards securing Promoters' personal borrowings. And the said pledge too is not mark-to-market.

On the economic front, business activity growth in the Indian service sector cooled further at the start of 2019, amid the weakest upturn in new work since last September. The seasonally adjusted Nikkei India Services Business Activity Index fell for the second straight month in January, from 53.2 in December to 52.2, indicating a softer expansion in output.

Meanwhile, fiscal deficit for the first nine months of the current fiscal, that is April-December, crossed 112.4% of the Budget Estimate (BE). Fiscal deficit for the first nine months is more than Rs 7.01 lakh crore as against the BE of Rs 6.24 lakh crore.

According to the data released by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA), the revenue receipts of the government totalled Rs 10.84 lakh crore or 62.8% of BE in 2018-2019 till December, compared with 66.9% during the same period last year.

Tax revenue was 63.2% of BE, compared with 73.4% in the comparable period of the previous year. The total expenditure of the government at December-end was Rs 18.32 lakh crore or 75% of BE.

Overseas, European stocks were trading higher Tuesday, as overnight strength on Wall Street underpinned appetite for riskier assets.

Most Asian markets remained closed for public holidays. US stocks closed higher Monday, as investors looked ahead to another week of high-profile earnings and developments in US-China trade talks.

US-China trade talks will remain in focus as a March 1 deadline to avoid an increase on tariffs on Chinese imports looms. On the US data front, US factory orders fell by 0.6% in November.

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

First Published: Tue, February 05 2019. 16:46 IST