We had mentioned in Wednesday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex might continue to rally. The major indices of the Indian stock markets were range-bound on Thursday and closed with minor losses over Wednesday’s close. The trends of the major indices in the course of Thursday’s trading are given in the table below:
Following the big ticket announcement by Reliance Industries on Jio commercial launch, key Indian stock market indices were trading flat on Thursday afternoon. Most telecom stocks were trading lower. Selling pressure was seen in telecom, technology, media and entertainment (TECK) and realty sectors, while good buying was observed in auto, metal and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) sectors. On the NSE, on Thursday, there were 479 advances, 993 declines and 50 unchanged.
Taking the tariff war and competition in Indian telecom a new level, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani on Thursday said domestic voice calls on the Jio network will be free forever, and unveiled a four-month introductory offer of free voice and data services. "The era of paying for voice calls is ending," Ambani told the Annual General Meeting of Reliance Industries (RIL) in Mumbai. "No Jio customer will ever have to pay for voice calls again," he added. Bharti Airtel shares closed at Rs310.50, down 6.43% on the BSE. Reliance Industries shares closed at Rs1,029.15, down 2.73% on the BSE.
Commercial vehicle major Ashok Leyland Ltd on Thursday said it sold a total of 10,897 units last month, down by 6%. In a statement issued here, the company said it closed last month selling 10,897 units -- down from 11,544 units sold in August 2015. While the sales of light commercial vehicles went up by two per cent last month to 2,696 units, the sales of medium, heavy commercial vehicles went down 8% to 8,201 units. Ashok Leyland shares closed at Rs83.80, down 4.45% on the BSE.
India's leading car maker Maruti Suzuki India Ltd said on Thursday it logged 12% growth in sales in August. In a regulatory filing with the BSE, the company said it sold 132,211 units (119.931 domestic/12,280 exports) last month against 117,864 units (106,781/11,083) during August 2015. While the sales of utility vehicles zoomed last month to 16,806 units up by 114.5%, the mid-size car segment (Ciaz) the compact segment (Swift, Ritz, Baleno, Celerio and Dzire) and the van segment also logged sales growth. However Maruti Suzuki saw negative growth in its mini segment (Alto, WagonR) and super compact segment (Dzire Tour) last month as compared to sales logged in August 2015. Maruti Suzuki shares closed at Rs5,058.25, up 0.11% on the BSE.
The Supreme Court on Thursday said that the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) can continue with its dual pricing policy for iron ore. Under the dual pricing, NMDC sells iron ore at different prices in different states. While allowing the dual pricing policy, the court declined the plea by Vedanta to export the iron ore that it cannot sell in Goa and Karnataka. NMDC shares closed at Rs106.20, down 1.62% on the BSE. Vedanta shares closed at Rs170.20, up 0.09% on the BSE.
The US dollar declined against most major currencies as economic data from the country came out mixed. In late New York trading on Wednesday, the euro rose to $1.1152 from $1.1137 of the previous session, and the British pound increased to $1.3128 from $1.3078, Xinhua news agency reported. The Australian dollar climbed to $0.7516 from $0.7505. US private sector employment added 177,000 jobs from July to August, above the market consensus of 175,000, according to the August ADP National Employment Report on Wednesday. The ADP figure is watched closely as a pre-indicator for the non-farm payrolls report due on Friday.
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: