Sensex, Nifty end with decent gains

Domestic equity benchmarks ended with decent gains after a volatile trade on Friday. Auto stocks were in demand while pharma shares corrected. As per provisional closing data, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex advanced 127.01 points or 0.31% at 40,685.50. The Nifty 50 index gained 33.85 points or 0.28% at 11,930.30.

The broader market outperformed the benchmark indices. The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index rose 0.59% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index gained 0.71%.

Buyers outnumbered sellers. On the BSE, 1689 shares rose and 1026 shares fell. A total of 152 shares were unchanged.

Coronavirus Update:

India reported 695,509 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 117,306 deaths while 6,948,497 patients have been discharged, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 41,640,295 with 1,136,495 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Buzzing Index:

The Nifty Auto index rose 2.90% to 8,092.20. The index had slipped 0.41% in the past two sessions.

Bharat Forge (up 6.50%), Maruti Suzuki (up 4.36%), Mahindra & Mahindra (up 3.67%), Ashok Leyland (up 3.09%), Tata Motors (up 2.51%), Bajaj Auto (up 2.29%), Eicher Motors (up 1.14%), Hero MotoCorp (up 0.66%) and TVS Motor Company (up 0.59%) advanced.

Stocks in Spotlight:

Nestle India (down 0.19%), Tech Mahindra (up 1.54%) and JSW Steel (down 1.43%) will announce their quarter earnings today.

HDFC Asset Management Company fell 2.05% to Rs 2310. The company's net profit fell 8% to Rs 337.9 crore on 8% decline in revenue from operations to Rs 456.2 crore in Q2 FY21 over Q2 FY20.

The fund house's market share stood at 13.6% as on 30 September 2020 as against 14.5% as on 30 June 2020 and 14.7% as on 30 September 2019. The company's quarterly average Assets Under Management (QAAUM) was Rs 3,75,500 crore as of 30 September 2020 compared to Rs 3,76,600 crore as on 30 September 2019.

Biocon fell 2.79% to Rs 417.50 after the company's consolidated net profit fell 23% to Rs 195.4 crore on 11.33% rise in net sales to Rs 1744.8 crore in Q2 September 2020 over Q2 September 2019. Net profit for Q2FY21 was impacted due to higher R&D expenses at Rs 148 crore (versus Rs 104 crore in Q2FY20) up by 42%, forex losses and higher staff & other expenses. EBITDA margin fell to 23% in Q2 September 2020 compared with 27% in Q2 September 2019.

Ambuja Cements slipped 3.01% to Rs 246.20. The cement major's consolidated net profit jumped 50.5% to Rs 803.50 crore on 1.5% increase in net sales to Rs 6,169.47 crore in Q3 September 2020 over Q3 September 2019. On a standalone basis, net profit rose 87.66% to Rs 441 crore on 9.62% increase in net sales to Rs 2802 crore in Q2 September 2020 over Q2 September 2019. The company registered a strong volume growth of 8%, supported by positive price. Total operating cost per ton has declined by 8% on a year on year basis, on account of lower input costs and efficiency programs.

Alembic Pharmaceuticals tumbled 4.11% at Rs 970. The drug maker reported 35.4% increase in consolidated net profit to Rs 333.37 crore on 17.4% rise in net sales to Rs 1457.1 crore in Q2 September 2020 over Q2 September 2019. EBITDA margin improved to 31% in Q2 September 2020 from 28% in Q2 September 2019.

Coforge lost 3.34% to Rs 2374.05. The IT firm reported a 47.40% growth in consolidated net profit to Rs 122.20 crore on a 9.14% increase in net sales to Rs 1,153.70 crore in Q2 September 2020 over Q1 June 2020. EBITDA jumped 20.2% to Rs 217.20 crore in Q2FY21 as against Rs 180.60 crore in Q1FY21. EBITDA margin improved to 18.8% in Q2FY21 from 17.1% in Q1FY21. Consolidated PAT margin stood at 10.5% in Q2FY21 over 7.6% in Q1FY21. The company recorded $201 million order intake in the quarter leading to $489 million of firm business executable over next twelve months.

Delta Corp rose 2.11% to Rs 111.50 after the company said that its subsidiary, Delta Pleasure Cruise Company, will acquire up to 45% stake in Waterways Shipyard for consideration not exceeding Rs 15.50 crore.

Bharti Infratel lost 2.07% to Rs 192. On a consolidated basis, the company's net profit dropped 24% to Rs 733 crore on 5.9% increase in net sales to Rs 1,766.40 crore in Q2 September 2020 over Q2 September 2019. EBITDA declined 3% year-on-year to Rs 1,836 crore, representing an operating margin of 49.7%.

Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail (ABFRL) jumped 6.84% to Rs 163.90 after the company said its board approved raising Rs 1500 crore through preferential issue of equity shares to Flipkart Group at Rs 205 per share. With this infusion, Flipkart Group will own 7.8% equity stake in ABFRL on a fully diluted basis.

L&T Finance Holdings rose 0.85% to Rs 64.90 after the company's consolidated net profit jumped 52.2% to Rs 265.12 crore despite a 5.5% fall in total income to Rs 3508.91 crore in Q2 FY21 over Q2 FY20. The company's provisions and write-offs increased by 25.8% to Rs 604.52 crore in the second quarter compared with the same period last year.

Music Broadcast hit an upper circuit of 20% at Rs 21.35 after the private FM radio broadcaster announced bonus issue of non-convertible non-cumulative redeemable preference shares (NCRPS) for every ten shares held by non-promoter shareholders. The issue price will be Rs 100 per share, including a premium of Rs 90 and face value of Rs 10. The total issue size will be worth Rs 90 crore, and the coupon rate for the same will be 0.1%.

Music Broadcast, posted a net loss of Rs 6.49 crore in Q2 September 2020 compared with net profit of Rs 18.51 crore in Q2 September 2019. Net sales tumbled 52% to Rs 30 crore in Q2 September 2020 over Q2 September 2019. Continued cost control led to faster improvement in profitability, the company said.

IDBI Bank added 1.28% to Rs 39.70 after the bank reported a standalone net profit of Rs 324.40 crore in Q2 September 2020 compared with net loss of Rs 3,458.84 crore in Q2 September 2019. Total income fell 7.54% to Rs 5,761.06 crore in Q2 September 2020 from Rs 6,231.02 crore in Q2 September 2019.

The bank's provisions and contingencies slumped 89% to Rs 581.15 crore in Q2 September 2020 over Q2 September 2019. On the asset quality front, the ratio of gross NPAs to gross advances stood at 25.08% as on 30 September 2020 as against 26.81% as on 30 June 2020 and 29.43% as on 30 September 2019. The ratio of net NPAs to net advances stood at 2.67% as on 30 September 2020 as against 3.55% as on 30 June 2020 and 5.97% as on 30 September 2019.

Global Markets:

The US Dow Jones futures were currently up 89 points, indicating a mildly positive start to equities on Wall Street today.

Shares in Europe and Asia advanced on Friday as investors monitor coronavirus developments. COVID-19 infections in Germany have risen to a record while Spain's health minister said that the spread is 'out of control' in certain parts of the country. Hospitalisations related to the virus have reached a two-month high in the US.

In Europe, the U.K. and European Union (EU) ramped up daily talks on Thursday regarding a post-Brexit trading arrangement between both the parties.

The US stock market finished higher after fluctuating in and out of the unchanged line throughout the session on Thursday, 22 October 2020. The gain was largely supported by better than expected economic data and the prospect of more fiscal stimulus to support a pandemic-damaged U.S. economy.

US House speaker Nancy Pelosi said a deal on new coronavirus aid was "just about there", despite continued opposition from the Republican-controlled Senate. U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi reported progress in talks with the Trump administration for another round of financial aid and said legislation could be hammered out "pretty soon". However, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow cautioned "significant policy differences" remained, which were unlikely to be resolved before the November 3 election.

The US leading economic index climbed by 0.7% in September after surging up by a revised 1.4% in August, the Conference Board reported on Thursday, suggesting the U.S. economy could be losing momentum heading into the final quarter of 2020. However, the continued increase by the leading economic index was driven primarily by declining unemployment claims and rising housing permits.

The existing home sales in the US soared by 9.4% to an annual rate of 6.54 million in September after jumping by 2% to a revised rate of 5.98 million in August, reflecting record-low interest rates and an abundance of buyers, the National Association of Realtors reported on Thursday.

US initial jobless claims fell to 787,000 in the week ended October 17th, a decrease of 55,000 from the previous week's revised level of 842,000, a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed.

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