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  • Sensex, Nifty end almost flat; broader market outperforms
  • April 16,2021  15:32
  • The equity indices ended near the flat line amid a volatile trade on Friday. The Nifty closed near the 14,600 mark. Media, pharma and IT shares saw strong buying while banks and financial shares came under selling pressure. Positive global cue supported the rally while rising COVID-19 cases capped gains.

    As per the provisional closing data, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, added 28.35 points or 0.06% at 48,832.89. The Nifty 50 index was up 9.86 points or 0.07% at 14,617.45.

    The broader market outperformed the benchmarks. The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index added 1.17% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index added 1.05%.

    Buyers outnumbered sellers. On the BSE, 1,648 shares rose and 1,253 shares fell. A total of 159 shares were unchanged.

    COVID-19 Update:

    Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 13,91,09,041 with 29,86,608 deaths. India reported 15,69,743 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 1,74,308 deaths while 1,25,47,866 patients have been discharged, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

    India crossed the grim milestone of over 2 lakh COVID-19 cases being reported in a day. Tough restrictions are in place in major cities like Delhi and Mumbai with weekend curfews and weekday restrictions being imposed by the administration, to check the spread of the virus.

    Economy:

    India's merchandise exports rose 60.3% at $34.50 billion in March as compared to the same month last year, while country's imports jumped 54% to $48.40 billion, Ministry of Commerce & Industry data showed.

    During the 2020-21 financial year, India's overall Merchandise and Services exports dipped 6.6% to $493.20 billion over the same period last year. Overall imports in April-March 2020-21 declined 16.5% to $505.90 billion.

    Earnings Impact:

    Wipro jumped nearly 9% after the IT major's consolidated net profit grew 27.78% to Rs 2,972.30 crore while revenue increased 3.4% to Rs 16245.40 crore in Q4 FY21 over Q4 FY20. The IT major's consolidated net profit rose 0.14% and its revenue climbed 3.67% in Q4 FY21 over Q3 FY21. Profit before tax (PBT) declined by 2.6% on quarter-on-quarter basis and it rose by 26.44% on year-on-year basis to Rs 3749.90 crore in Q4 FY21. Wipro expects revenue from its IT services business to be in the range of $2,195 million to $2,238 million for the quarter ending 30 June 2021. This translates to a sequential growth of 2% to 4%. The company added 52 new customers in the quarter ending 31 March 2021. The IT major's attrition rate (on TTM basis) stood at 12.1% in Q4 FY21 as against 11% in Q3 FY21 and 14.7% in Q4 FY20.

    GTPL Hathway jumped 5% after the company reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 56.89 crore in Q4 FY21 compared with net loss of Rs 13.62 crore in Q4 FY20. Net sales during the quarter increased by 17.82% year-on-year (YoY) to Rs 748.72 crore in Q4 FY21. The company posted a pre-tax profit of Rs 85.67 crore in Q4 March 2021 as against a pre-tax loss of Rs 18.40 crore in Q4 March 2020.

    Stocks in Spotlight:

    Larsen & Toubro (L&T) fell 1.25%. The construction arm of Larsen & Toubro (L&T) secured significant orders from clients for its various businesses. According to L&T's classification, the value of the said orders lies between Rs 1,000 crore to Rs 2,500 crore. The company's power transmission and distribution business won orders to design and construct two 132/11 kV substations in Dubai, UAE. The factories business also secured an order from a leading cement manufacturer to construct a 3.5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) brownfield cement plant in Nimbahera, Rajasthan. The scope includes civil, mechanical and equipment erection works. The railways strategic business unit that resides within the transportation infrastructure business has won an order from the Central Organisation for Railway Electrification (CORE).

    Antony Waste Handling Cell rose 2.4% after the economic activity in the regions serviced by the firm has seen a sequential improvement for the third consecutive quarter. The company's total operating revenue (tipping revenue from C&T and waste processing) has shown a growth of approximately 4.4% for Q4 FY21 as compared to Q3 FY21. Total tonnage handled by the collection & transportation (C&T) business (excluding those projects with fixed shifts/trips) in Q4 FY21 has reported approximately 2.1% growth over Q3 FY21. Additionally, total waste processed by the company, during Q4 FY21, has improved by approximately 2.9% as compared to Q3 FY21. Total compost sales during Q4 FY21 stood at 4,834 tons as compared to 2,291 tons in Q3 FY21.

    National Aluminium Company (NALCO) rose 1.55% after the company said it has been granted the mining lease of Utkal-E coal block in Odisha. The lease has been granted by the Department of Steel & Mines, Government of Odisha, through a notification issued on April 12. As per the notification, the mining lease of Utkal-E coal block is over an area of 523.73 hecatres in villages Nandichhod, Gopinathpur Jungle, Kundajhari Jungle, Kosala & Korada under Chendipada Tahasil of Angul District.

    National Fertilizers advanced 0.64%. The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), Ministry of Finance, Government of India has intimated regarding issue of RFP for engagement of Legal Advisors, Merchant Bankers and Selling Brokers for the Disinvestment of 20% paid up equity capital in the company out of Government of India's shareholding through the Offer for Sale by promoters through the Stock Exchanges method in the domestic market.

    Ashoka Buildcon jumped 3% after the company received a Letter of Award (LOA) from Gujarat Rail Infrastructure Development Corporation. The received LOA is for gauge conversion of Bechraji to Ranuj section to broad gauge with 25 KV AC electrification in Ahmedabad Division of Western Railway. The company announced that the accepted project cost is Rs 333.625 crore and has a total length of 38.153 kilometer.

    Quess Corp fell 1.76%. The company announced the acquisition of 30% stake in Conneqt Business Solutions Ltd. (Conneqt) pursuant to the Put Option notice by Tata Sons. With this transaction, Conneqt will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Quess. Conneqt is India's second largest domestic CLM and BPM player delivering unparalleled customer experience to 120+ clients in India, US, UK and Middle East. Quess had acquired 51% of Conneqt in November 2017 and further increased its stake in Conneqt from 51% to 70% in May 2019 via infusion of primary capital, which was used to fund the acquisition of Allsec Technologies (Allsec), a listed CLM and HRO services provider.

    Global Markets:

    Shares in Europe and Asia advanced on Friday as investors reacted to the release of Chinese economic data. China's gross domestic product surged 18.3% in the first three months of the year from a year ago, the country's National Bureau of Statistics said Friday. The surge in growth comes off a contraction in the first quarter of last year, when the economy shrank by 6.8% during the height of the domestic outbreak of COVID-19.

    Meanwhile, China's retail sales jumped 34.2% and industrial production rose 14.1% in March.

    In the US, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones indexes hit record highs on Thursday, as upbeat earnings reports from companies including Bank of America and BlackRock as well as a strong rebound in March retail sales bolstered hopes of a broader economic rebound.

    US retail sales surged 9.8% in March as additional stimulus sent consumer spending soaring, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. A separate report on Thursday showed that first-time filings for unemployment insurance dropped to the lowest level since March 2020. The Labor Department reported 5,76,000 new jobless claims for the week ended April 10.

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