Equity indices found firmer ground on Monday after three days of declines as robust demand for banking and financial stocks amid upbeat macroeconomic data neutralised heavy selling in heavyweight Reliance Industries. A positive trend in global markets too bolstered sentiment, though a sharp depreciation in the rupee capped the gains, traders said. After gyrating 633.11 points in a choppy session, the 30-share BSE Sensex settled 143.51 points or 0.36 per cent higher at 39,757.58. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty advanced 26.75 points or 0.23 per cent to 11,669.15.
IndusInd Bank was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying 7.10 per cent, followed by ICICI Bank, HDFC, Axis Bank, Bharti Airtel, SBI, Bajaj Finance and HDFC Bank. ICICI Bank on Saturday reported an over four-fold jump in consolidated net profit at Rs 4,882 crore for the September quarter, driven largely by core income growth and lesser provisions for the pandemic-related impact.
Mortgage lender HDFC Ltd on Monday said its consolidated net profit declined by 57.5 per cent to Rs 4,600 crore in the July-September quarter of 2020-21. However, during the quarter ended September 30, 2019, Rs 8,000 crore pertained to profit on loss of control of subsidiary GRUH Finance Limited, it added.
Reliance Industries (RIL) was the top laggard among the Sensex constituents, crashing 8.62 per cent, after the company on Friday evening reported a 15 per cent drop in second quarter net profit as a slump in core oil and chemicals business dragged down continued good showing in consumer-facing verticals such as telecom. HCL Tech, TCS, Asian Paints, Tata Steel, Bajaj Auto, Maruti and UltraTech Cement also ended in the red, skidding up to 2.49 per cent.
“The weak opening reflected the rough waters market the entered last week. However, some recovery was seen as investors showed interest in banking stocks as major players announced Q2 results, beating the street estimates with positive outlook. “Additionally, the banking stocks are attempting to price, in expectation of the positive SC verdict on moratorium. The Indian market is expected to be volatile, amidst mixed global sentiments due to increasing COVID cases, US election and delayed stimulus,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
Sectorally, BSE bankex, telecom, finance, realty, power and utilities indices rallied as much as 4.17 per cent, while energy index cracked 7.12 per cent. BSE oil and gas, healthcare, IT and basic materials also closed with losses. Broader BSE midcap index jumped 0.36 per cent, while the smallcap gauge slipped 0.71 per cent. On the macroeconomic front, India’s manufacturing sector activity improved for the third straight month in October with companies raising output to the greatest extent in 13 years amid robust sales growth, PMI data showed. GST collections in October crossing the Rs 1 lakh crore mark and strong sales by auto companies also indicated a pick-up in economic activity post the COVID-19 outbreak.
Meanwhile, global equities climbed following positive PMI data from China, though the underlying sentiment remains risk-averse ahead of the US presidential elections. Bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo ended on a positive note. Stock exchanges in Europe were also trading with significant gains in early deals despite fresh lockdowns in multiple countries. International oil benchmark Brent crude was trading 2.06 per cent lower at USD 37.16 per barrel. In the forex market, the rupee depreciated 32 paise to end at 74.42 against the US dollar.
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