We had mentioned in Tuesday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex were in no man’s land. The major indices of the Indian stock markets were range-bound on Wednesday and closed with small gains over Tuesday’s close. On the NSE, there were 701 advances, 1,006 declines and 335 unchanged. The trends of the major indices in the course of Wednesday’s trading are given in the table below:
The key Indian equity indices traded in a flat-to-positive note on Wednesday, even though rupee turned weaker and oil prices rallied. According to market analysts, the decline in major Asian equity markets and US President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the 2015 Iran nuclear did not deter the bulls. Buying in capital goods, consumer durables and IT (information technology) stocks supported the indices.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reaffirmed on Wednesday that India will be the fastest growing major economy in 2018, with a growth rate of 7.4% that rises to 7.8% in 2019 with medium-term prospects remaining positive. The IMF's Asia and Pacific Regional Economic Outlook report said that India was recovering from the effects of demonetisation and the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax and "the recovery is expected to be underpinned by a rebound from transitory shocks as well as robust private consumption." Medium-term consumer price index inflation "is forecast to remain within but closer to the upper bound of the Reserve Bank of India's inflation-targeting band of 4% with a plus or minus 2% change, the report said. However, it added a note of caution: "In India, given increased inflation pressure, monetary policy should maintain a tightening bias." It said the consumer price increase in 2017 was 3.6% and projected it to be 5% in 2018 and 2019. "The current account deficit in fiscal year 2017-18 is expected to widen somewhat but should remain modest, financed by robust foreign direct investment inflows," the report said. This is likely to reflect in the long term bullish trend of the Indian stock markets.
State-run Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has kept prices of transport fuel unchanged since April 24, temporarily suspending the dynamic pricing regime and despite a rise in international rates, to avoid panic among consumers, IOC Chairman Sanjiv Singh said. Speaking to reporters here on the sidelines of the launch of bids for City Gas Distribution (CGD) licenses, Singh said the decision is based on the belief that current global prices "are not supported by fundamentals." "We have decided to temporarily moderate retail prices by not passing on the required increase as we believe the current international oil product prices are not supported by fundamentals. So we have decided to wait for a while," Singh said. "Passing them on to consumers will unnecessarily create panic," he said. The price of petrol per litre, on Tuesday, was Rs74.63 and diesel was at Rs65.93 -- rates of both have remained unchanged since April 24. IOC shares closed at Rs167.00, up 0.24% on the BSE.
As India’s iconic Hero Cycles makes inroads into the UK and European markets with the launch of 75 bikes under its new "Insync" brand, the world’s biggest bicycle manufacturer aims to grow by over 60% over the next four years, says Sreeram Venkateswaran, head of the company’s UK operations. He said that from a $800-850 million company (across all its businesses, including automotive), it is poised to become $1.3 billion to $1.4 billion company by 2022, with Europe and bicycles being an "extremely important component" of that growth story. Sreeram told IANS in an interview that with the launch of the Insync brand, the company not only aims to penetrate the mid-premium segment of the European market but also transform the way it caters to the Indian market. Hero MotoCorp shares closed at Rs3,657.35, up 0.02% on the BSE.
ABB India reported a 14% rise in its net profit to Rs102 crore in the quarter ended March 31, 2018, as compared to Rs90 crore in the year-ago period. Its revenue, during the quarter under review, increased 17% compared to the prior year period to Rs2,525 crore. All divisions reported growth in revenues and the increase in revenue is also supported by the large HVDC project of Raigarh-Pugalur (RP) 800, which is starting to mature in its execution cycle, the company said. "Cost savings, positive volume growth and higher absorption contributed to the robust growth in operational EBITA for the quarter," it said in a statement. Total orders during the first quarter of 2018 rose 10% year-on-year to Rs2,582 crore. The quarter posted the highest growth in orders for the first quarter period in the last five years," it said. ABB Managing Director Sanjeev Sharma said: "Significant uptrend in revenue, increased orders and profits reflect customers' preference for our digital and innovative offerings and deep domain knowhow, supported by our expansive manufacturing and service footprint." Ongoing growth in service and export orders played a significant role in bolstering the order book. The company’s shares closed at Rs1,272.00, down 0.78% on the BSE.
Food service company, Jubilant FoodWorks (JFL) reported a rise in its net profit for the fourth quarter of 2017-18. According to Jubilant FoodWorks, its profit after tax in the quarter under review increased to Rs68.06 crore from Rs6.71 crore reported for the like period of the previous fiscal. "The strong performance in Q4 FY 18 was driven by the continued success of All New Domino's product upgrade rolled out in August and the traction of the Every Day Value pricing that provides customers attractive value for money," the company said in a statement. "In addition, strong growth in online sales also contributed to overall growth, with online sales now contributing to 63% of delivery sales." Besides, the company's net profit for 2017-18 rose by 206.91% to Rs206.4 crore from Rs67.25 crore over FY17. Commenting on the result, the company's CEO and Whole time Director Pratik Pota said: "Our key strategic initiatives undertaken in the past one year such as the launch of All New Domino's, Every Day Value and sharp focus on Digital sales drove strong growth for us..." The company's Board recommended a dividend of Rs5 per equity share of Rs10 each fully paid up for the financial year ended March 31, 2018 on existing share capital of the company subject to approval of the shareholders in annual general meeting. JFL shares closed at Rs2,556.05, down 0.17% on the BSE.
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: