We had mentioned in Wednesday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex were still bullish. The major indices of the Indian stock markets made a minor rally on Thursday and closed with small gains of a little less than 0.50% over Wednesday’s close. The trends of the major indices in the course of Thursday’s gains are given in the table below:
Healthy quarterly results, consistent buying by foreign funds and a rise in global crude oil prices buoyed the Indian equity markets on Thursday. The key indices closed the day's trade in the green as healthy buying was witnessed in stocks of healthcare, automobile and consumer durables. However, gains were capped due to profit booking at higher levels and caution ahead of a key global financial event. The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bulls -- with 1,608 advances and 1,151 declines. On the NSE, on Thursday, there were 905 advances, 552 declines and 68 unchanged.
ICICI Bank on Thursday became the first bank in India to deploy ‘software robots that emulate human action, in its over 200 business processes thereby reducing the response time to customers by up to 60%. "The bank is the first in the country and among few, globally, to deploy ‘software robotics' that emulates human actions to automate and perform repetitive, high volume and time consuming business tasks cutting across multiple applications," ICICI Bank said. "We have re-engineered over 200 business processes which are powered by software robots across various functions of the bank. We plan to more than double the software robots to over 500 by end of this fiscal," Chanda Kochhar, MD and CEO, ICICI Bank, said. This initiative marks a milestone in the banking innovation in the Indian banking industry as it joins a select group of overseas organisations which have deployed this unique state-of-the-art robotic technology in such a large way, Kochhar said. The innovation is likely to increase the lead of hi-tech private banks over public sector banks. The Bank Nifty rose 0.05% in Thursday’s trading.
US stocks closed mixed with the Nasdaq Composite Index refreshing previous day's closing record, as Wall Street digested the Federal Reserve's Beige Book. The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday fell 11.98 points, or 0.06%, to 18,526.14. The S&P 500 edged down 0.33 point, or 0.02%, to 2,186.15. The Nasdaq increased 8.02 points, or 0.15%, to 5,283.93. According to the Beige Book released in the afternoon, reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts suggest that national economic activity continued to expand at a modest pace on balance during the reporting period of July through late August. "Labour market conditions remained tight in most districts, with moderate payroll growth noted in general. Price increases remained slight overall," said the Beige Book. The Fed has been in focus recently, with investors pondering over when the US central bank will decide to raise interest rates. The Federal Open Market Committee, the Fed's monetary policy arm, is set to meet on September 20-21. On the economic front, the number of job openings increased to 5.9 million on the last business day of July, the US Labour Department reported on Wednesday.
State-run gas utility GAIL India (GAIL) on Wednesday posted 244 per cent jump in its net profit for the first quarter which ended in June at Rs 1,335 crore on the back of a turnaround in its petrochemical business and the stake sale in Mahanagar Gas. The company's net profit in the April-June quarter of 2015 was at Rs 388 crore, it said in a statement. "GAIL's PAT excluding gain from stake sale in Mahanagar Gas Ltd is Rs 846 crore, signifying an increase by 118%," it said. Moreover, during the quarter, production and sales of GAIL's petrochemical business jumped 149% and 121% respectively, resulting in a revenue increase of 95% to Rs 1,133 crore. The profit in this segment stood at Rs 9 crore as against a loss of Rs 397 crore in the corresponding period of last year. Gail India shares closed at Rs388.90, down 1.92% on the BSE.
State-run explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) on Wednesday posted a 21.14 per cent fall in net profit for the first quarter ended June at Rs 4,232 crore, as compared to Rs 5,386 crore in the same quarter a year ago caused by lower crude prices. The company's gross revenue for the quarter in consideration also fell by a similar 21.4% to Rs 17,784 crore, as compared to Rs 22,628 crore in the first quarter of the last fiscal. Operating income or EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) during the quarter in question also fell, coming in at Rs 8,484 crore, as against Rs 10,636 crore in the same quarter last year. The shares of the company closed at Rs246.25, up 0.47% on the BSE. Among the index stocks, TCS fell sharply after it announced that business outlook of some of its major customers was muted. There was all-round buying of pharma stocks.
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below: