Indian stocks to open in positive: Friday Market Preview

Corporate earnings and global cues to support the gains

The local market is likely to add to the gains accrued yesterday and open in the positive on good global cues and a mixed bag of earnings. While Sensex heavyweight Tata Motors announced better-than-expected earning driven by domestic and international sales, others like Aban Offshore and Tech Mahindra disappointed the street.

On the global front, US markets closed higher for the second day running as consumer discretionary and technology stocks offset weak economic data. Markets in Asia were mixed after opening higher, weighed down by a strengthening yen against the dollar and concerns about European debt issues. The SGX Nifty was 18.50 points higher at 5,414.50 from its previous close of 5,396.

Yesterday the market traded above Wednesday’s close from the start, tracking a firming trend on the bourses across Asia. The Sensex and Nifty opened at 17,917 and 5,373 respectively. Good earnings by Tata Steel and Coal India that came in after the market closed on Thursday also assisted early gains. Support also came from metals, oil & gas and banking sectors in the early session.

There was a small decline in the first hour of trade, which is when the indices registered the day's lows. But the market overcame this and resumed its upward movement. A 1.04 percentage point rise in the weekly food inflation numbers for mid-May contributed to nervousness around noon.

In the last hour, short-covering and news that the government may decide on Cairn Energy's stake sale to Vedanta Resources helped the Nifty to cross the first support level of 5,400 and close above that level. The next resistance is at 5,470. The intra-day highs by the Sensex and Nifty were 18,073 and 5,422 respectively. The Sensex rose 197 points to close at 18,045 and the Nifty closed 63 points up at 5,412.

Wall Street closed in the green on Thursday as investors brushed aside economic worries and put their bets on consumer discretionary and technology stocks. Jewellery retailer Tiffany jumped 8.6% after raising its full-year earnings forecast as profit beat estimates. NetApp Incorporated surged 6.9% as the data-management company forecast earnings that topped projections. Microsoft Corporation gained 2% as Greenlight Capital Incorporated president David Einhorn called for the company’s board to replace chief executive officer Steve Ballmer.

In economic news, US GDP grew at a 1.8% annual rate in the first quarter, lower than analysts estimates for a 2.2% increase. Initial jobless claims rose to a seasonally adjusted 424,000 in the week ended 21st May 21, worse than economists had expected.

Earlier in the day, stocks extended declines on Luxembourg’s Jean-Claude Juncker’s remarks that the International Monetary Fund may not release its portion of a 12 billion-euro ($17 billion) aid payment to Greece next month. Mr Juncker heads the group of euro-area finance ministers.

The Dow added 8.10 points (0.07%) to 12,402.76. The S&P 500 gained 5.22 points (0.40%) to 1,325.69 and the Nasdaq climbed 21.54 points (0.78%) to 2,782.92.

Markets in Asia, which opened higher, were mixed on a strengthening yen that hurt the outlook for export-oriented companies. Also, Japan's core consumer prices rose in April as the March earthquake hurt consumption. Core consumer prices, which include oil products but exclude volatile prices of fresh food products, rose 0.6% from April 2010, marking the first rise since December 2008. Lingering debt issues in Europe also troubled investors in the region.

The Hang Seng gained 0.31%, the KLSE Composite advanced 0.35%, the Straits Times climbed 0.59%, the Seoul Composite surged 0.62% and the Taiwan Weighted was up 0.48%. On the other hand, the Shanghai Composite lost 0.42%, the Jakarta Composite fell by 0.14% and the Nikkei 225 declined 0.24%.

Back home, Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Thursday said it will probe alleged irregularities in subscription of shares of sponge iron producer Vaswani Industries and investigation will be completed within 30 days.

SEBI, on 13th May, had withheld the listing of the company’s IPO following complaints by about 100 investors alleging large-scale withdrawal and rejections in the issue.


Finance ministry favours ‘middle path’ on Jalan panel recommendations

Earlier this week, the government held discussions on the report with the stock exchanges and other stakeholders and sought a roadmap by 30th May for segregation of regulatory and commercial roles of the exchanges

New Delhi: The finance ministry today pitched for a "middle path" on the Jalan Committee suggestions on a new set of rules regarding ways stock exchanges should be owned and run, amidst the recommendations generating strong divergent views, reports PTI.

At an Assocham meet here, secretary of Department of Economic Affairs R Gopalan said the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) is "seized" of the matter.

"This (Jalan Committee) report for a number of reasons has generated opinions for and against in equally strong manner. I am sure, we need to find a middle path given the firm views on both side," he said.

A SEBI-appointed committee, chaired by former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Bimal Jalan, had last year suggested sweeping changes in the way stock exchanges are owned and run and strongly recommended capping their profitability and not allowing them to get listed to safeguard their front-line regulatory role.

Mr Gopalan said consultations on the report were still on.

Earlier this week, the government held discussions on the report with the stock exchanges and other stakeholders and sought a roadmap by 30th May for segregation of regulatory and commercial roles of the exchanges, sources said.

SEBI had set up the committee in January 2010 for review of ownership and governance norms for market infrastructure institutions such as stock exchanges and the panel submitted its report to the regulator in November last year.

The proposals generated intense debate with opposition expressed on proposals like non-listing of bourses and cap on profitability, terming them anti-investor measures.

In the wake of stiff opposition to the proposals, SEBI later put the ball in the government's court.


Tata Motors net profit trebles to Rs9,273 crore in FY11

Higher domestic sales and turn around at the Jaguar Land Rover unit boosts performance 

MUMBAI: Tata Motors on Thursday reported an over three-fold rise in its consolidated net profit to Rs9,273.62 crore for the fiscal year 2010-11, driven by higher domestic sales and by its Jaguar and Land Rover unit. The company posted a net profit of Rs2,571.06 crore in the previous year.

Consolidated total income from operations in the year under review also jumped by 33.09% to Rs1,23,133.30 crore from Rs 92,519.25 crore, PTI reports.

In 2010-11, Tata Motors sold 10,80,994 vehicles across the world, up 24.2% over that in the previous financial year, the company said. Jaguar Land Rover, which it bought from Ford Motor Company in 2008 and was initially a loss-making unit, has turned around recently and reported profit after tax of £1,043 million on net revenue of £9,906 million.

The company's board recommended a dividend of 200%, which is Rs20 per share, for every ordinary share. It has also recommended a dividend of 205%, which is Rs20.50 per unit, for every 'A' ordinary share.

The company said the board has approved a proposal to split the stock, under which its ordinary and 'A' ordinary shares, both of Rs 10 each, will be divided into shares of Rs 2 each.

Tata Motors shares closed 2.45% up at Rs1,161.25 a share on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Thursday, on a day when the benchmark Sensex climbed 1.11%, or 197 points, to 18,044 points.


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