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Sensex holds 400 pts gains; Bank Nifty hits record high

10:00

The News International Team

10:45am Indian staples expensive, say expert

Sakthi Siva, Credit Suisse says there are two arguments commonly cited by investors to suggest staples are the biggest beneficiary of falling commodity prices. “One, commodities are a big input cost and falling commodity prices improve margins. Two, falling commodity prices improve real disposable incomes and help boost volumes for consumer goods particularly Staples,” he explained.

“While the arguments are valid, our question is where are the EPS upgrades? While Hindustan Unilever has seen upgrades of 2 percent to 2015e consensus EPS since the lows in July, Staples in India are trading at their highest-ever valuation – a premium of 554 percent to the region,” says Siva.

10:25am PC Jeweller in News

Leading jewellery firm PC Jeweller today said the government has designated the company as nominated agency for direct import of precious metals to be used for domestic business.

The move would help the company to reduce its cost to buy precious metals, P C Jeweller Managing Director Balram Garg said.

In a filing to the BSE, PC Jeweller informed that the “company, has been designated as Nominated Agency under Paragraph 4A.4 of Foreign Trade Policy 2009-14 (RE-2012), by the Additional Director General of Foreign Trade (CLA), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Department of Commerce.”

“This permission makes the company eligible for direct import of Precious Metals (gold/silver/platinum) for domestic business,” it added.

When contacted, Garg said: “We were buying precious metals from banks as only nominated agencies are allowed to import directly for domestic business. Now we are allowed to import directly from foreign suppliers”. He noted that the company’s would save on the margins paid to banks for buying precious metals, reports PTI.

10:15am Nomura on RBI rate cut

The Reserve Bank of India’s decision today to cut the repo rate – the rate at which it lends to banks – by 25 basis points, or 0.25 percent, “is a surprise” as the market was anticipating monetary policy action after the Budget, Nomura India MD – Fixed Income Neeraj Gambhir told CNBC-TV18.

The central bank cut interest rates today, about 20 days before it meets for its bi-monthly policy review, and said that it expects inflation to be lower than the 6 percent it is targeting for January next year, judging from its steep fall recently.

Inflation, as measured by the consumer price index basket, has fallen from a peak of 11.16 percent in November 2013 to 5 percent in December 2014, thanks to the recent fall in international crude prices and economic activity slowed during the recent downturn.

“Inflation is clearly on a path lower than what the central bank had envisaged,” Gambhir said, adding that while he earlier expected it to slash rates by a total of 50 basis points (0.5 percent) this year, that thesis may now need to be revisited. “This is a switch in the regime. The RBI has now moved away from managing inflation to boosting growth.”

10:00am Market Check

Equity benchmarks maintained uptrend by rising 1.6 percent in morning trade as Reserve Bank of India slashed repo rate by 25 basis points to 7.75 percent ahead of its February policy. Banking & financials, realty, auto and capital goods stocks gained strength.

The 30-share BSE Sensex climbed 439.07 points to 27785.89 and the 50-share NSE Nifty Nifty jumped 133.30 points to 8410.85. More than 3 shares advanced for every share declining on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Bank Nifty touched fresh record high of 19,410.40 intraday today, up 533.85 points or 2.87 percent to 19,137.65 as ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, State Bank of India and Axis Bank rallied 2-4 percent.

Shares of ITC, Larsen & Toubro, Reliance Industries, Mahindra & Mahindra, WIpro, Maruti Suzuki, Bharti Airtel, Hero Motocorp, Bajaj Auto, Tata Power, Cipla and Coal India gained 1-2.7 percent. However, Tata Steel, GAIL and HUL were under pressure.
 
The Indian rupee appreciated by 38 paise to 61.80 a dollar post RBI rate cut.

Globally, Asian markets were mixed with the Shanghai and Nikkei rising 1 percent each. In commodities, Brent crude fell 0.94 percent to USD 48.23 a barrel, recovering from its six-year low of around USD 45 a barrel. US crude was down 0.7 percent to USD 48.14 a barrel.

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