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Barometers end near flat line; Nifty holds 15,150

·8-min read

Domestic equity benchmarks ended near the flat line after a volatile day on Friday. Metals and FMCG shares corrected while banks and financials advanced. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rose 12.78 points or 0.02% to 51,544.30. The Nifty 50 index lost 10 points or 0.07% to 15,163.30.

ICICI Bank (up 2.67%), Infosys (up 1.36%) and HDFC (up 1.15%) advanced. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (down 2.53%), Bharti Airtel (down 1.98%) and Reliance Industries (down 0.70%) declined.

The broader market declined. The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index rose 0.06% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index shed 0.02%.

The market breadth favored the sellers. On the BSE, 1439 shares rose and 1532 shares fell. A total of 163 shares were unchanged.

Investors booked profits after recent steep gains. Domestic shares have rallied sharply since January 2021 following a range of positive developments, including a high-spending union budget, strong corporate earnings, robust foreign fund flows and progress on COVID-19 vaccinations.

COVID-19 Update:

Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 10,77,87,428 with 23,68,530 deaths. India reported 1,35,926 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 1,55,447 deaths while 1,05,89,230 patients have been discharged, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

Numbers to Track:

In the foreign exchange market, the partially convertible rupee appreciated to 72.755 compared with its previous closing of 72.87.

The yield on 10-year benchmark federal paper rose to 5.983% from its previous closing of 5.962%.

MCX Gold futures for 5 April 2021 settlement slipped 0.36% to Rs 47,336.

The US Dollar index (DXY), which tracks the greenback's value against a basket of currencies, rose 0.19% to 90.59.

In the commodities market, Brent crude for April 2021 settlement lost 44 cents to $60.70 a barrel. The contract declined 0.54% or 33 cents to settle at $61.14 in the previous trading session.

Global Markets:

European stocks declined on Friday as traders digested fresh corporate results. Asian stocks ended higher on Thursday. Markets in China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan were closed for holidays.

In US, the Nasdaq and S&P 500 eked out modest gains on Thursday with investors betting on more fiscal stimulus, but U.S. President Joe Biden said China was poised to 'eat our lunch,' a warning that tempered enthusiasm for a market near record highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended near the flatline.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday that the economy faces challenges in the labor market, and so monetary policy needs to stay 'patiently accommodative.' In remarks at the Economic Club of New York, Powell said the employment picture is a 'long way' from where it needs to be.

The number of Americans filing new applications for unemployment benefits inched down last week. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 7,93,000 for the week ended 6 February 2021, compared to 8,12,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Buzzing Indian Index:

The Nifty Metal index fell 1.70% to 3,486.25, underperforming the other sectoral indices on the NSE. The index rose 1.02% in the previous session.

SAIL (down 2.91%), Welspun Corp (down 2.78%), Jindal Steel & Power (down 2.55%), Coal India (down 2.33%), Tata Steel (down 2.26%), Hindustan Copper (down 1.96%), Hindalco Industries (down 1.42%), JSW Steel (down 1.41%), NMDC (down 1.01%), Mishra Dhatu Nigam (down 0.56%) and MOIL (down 0.45%) declined.

National Aluminium Company (NALCO) fell 3.65%. NALCO posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 239.71 crore in Q3 FY21 as compared to a net loss of Rs 33.9 crore recorded in Q3 FY20. Revenue from operations grew by 14% to Rs 2378.79 crore in Q3 FY21 from Rs 2088.35 crore in Q3 FY20.

Earnings Impact:

ITC declined 3.97% after the company's net profit declined 11.6% to Rs 3,663 crore on 0.05% decline in net sales to Rs 11,698.60 crore in Q3 FY21 over Q3 FY20. EBITDA declined by 7.2% to Rs 4,281 crore in Q3 December 2020 from Rs 4,613 crore in Q3 December 2019.

Total FMCG segment revenue rose 5.1% Y-o-Y (year-on-year) to Rs 9,060 crore during the period under review. In the FMCG segment, cigarettes revenue increased by 3.5% Y-o-Y to Rs 5,498 crore while the revenue from other FMCG segment improved by 7.5% Y-o-Y to Rs 3,562 crore during the quarter.

Hotel business revenue stood at Rs 235 crore (down 57.4% Y-o-Y), agri-business revenue was at Rs 2,482 crore (up 18.5% Y-o-Y) and paperboards, paper & packaging revenues were at Rs 1,478 crore (down 5% Y-o-Y) in the third quarter.

Grasim Industries rose 0.59%. The company posted 103% jump in consolidated net profit to Rs 1,384 crore on 13% rise in revenue from operations to Rs 20,986 crore in Q3 FY21 over Q3 FY20. The diversified company's profit before tax (PBT) jumped 113% year on year to Rs 3103 crore in Q3 FY21. Total tax expense were sharply higher at Rs 977.48 crore in Q3 FY21 from Rs 405.74 crore in Q3 FY20. EBITDA stood at Rs 4,476 crore, jumping 52% Y-o-Y and 24% Q-o-Q.

Ashok Leyland slumped 5% after the company posted a standalone net loss of Rs 19.38 crore in Q3 FY21 as against net profit of Rs 27.75 crore in Q3 FY20. The profit was impacted by a one-time expenditure of Rs 85 crore in Q3 FY21 towards a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS). Net sales jumped 20.5% to Rs 4,789.82 crore in Q3 FY21 over Q3 FY20.

Oil India fell 3.54%. On a consolidated basis, the company's net profit jumped 25.4% to Rs 889.69 crore on 27.7% decline in net sales to Rs 2,137.34 crore in Q3 December 2020 over Q3 December 2019. The profit was boosted by the company receiving direct tax reversal of Rs 1,158.54 crore during the quarter.

Motherson Sumi Systems soared 10.07% after the company's consolidated net profit surged 194% to Rs 798 crore on 15% rise in revenue from operations to Rs 17,923 crore in Q3 FY21 over Q3 FY20. The company said it posted highest ever quarterly revenue. Motherson Sumi Systems said operations have normalised, with most facilities running at pre-COVID 19 levels. Indications of positive consumer sentiments are reflected by increased demand globally.

Power Grid Corporation of India shed 0.44%. On a consolidated basis, the company reported a 26% jump in net profit to Rs 3,367.71 crore in Q3 FY21 on an 8.3% rise in net sales to Rs 10,142.48 crore in Q3 FY21 over Q3 FY20. Profit before tax jumped 27.1% to Rs 4,446.57 crore in Q3 FY21 over Q3 FY20.

Voltas fell 1.99%. On a consolidated basis, the air conditioning company's net profit jumped 46.2% to Rs 128.64 crore on 32.5% rise in revenue from operations to Rs 1970 crore in Q3 FY21 over Q3 FY20. Profit before tax jumped 39% year on year to Rs 165.84 crore in Q3 FY21 from Rs 119.3 crore in Q3 FY20. Total tax expense spiked 18.5% year on year to Rs 37.2 crore in Q3 FY21.

CRISIL added 2.42% after the rating agency's consolidated net profit increased 15.4% to Rs 110.04 crore on 28.6% jump in net sales to Rs 597.24 crore in Q4 December 2020 over Q4 December 2019. The credit ratings agency said that the appreciating rupee had an impact on the quarter.

For the year ended 31 December 2020, consolidated net profit rose 3.1% to Rs 354.7 crore compared with Rs 344 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year. Consolidated income from operations was up 14.4% to Rs 1,981.8 crore, compared with Rs 1,731.7 crore in the corresponding period of 2019.

Bharat Forge fell 1.50% after the company reported a consolidated net loss of Rs 210.44 crore in Q3 FY21 as against a consolidated net profit of Rs 40.43 crore in Q3 FY20. Consolidated revenue from operations fell nearly 6% to Rs 1723.11 crore in Q3 FY21 from Rs 1830.85 crore in Q3 FY20. EBITDA margins improved by 520 basis points to 18.1% Q3 FY21 from 12.9% in Q3 FY20.

The company reported an exceptional one-time loss of Rs 299.45 crore which impacted company's profits. During the quarter ended 31 December 2020, Germany's National Competition regulator (Federal Cartel Office)(FCO) concluded the settlement with the company's German subsidiaries. Accordingly, an amount of Rs 274.26 crore has been provided for in the quarter ended 31 December 2020 in consolidated results towards such settlement including related expenses. The settlement amount will be paid over the period of next five years.