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Nifty ends above 8700 for 1st time; HUL up 5%, ITC tanks 5%


The News International Team

The market gained for the fifth consecutive session on Wednesday by taking consistent support from stocks like HDFC, Infosys, HUL and SBI. However, the fall in ITC post Q3 earnings capped the gains.

The 50-share NSE Nifty closed above the 8700-mark for the first time ever, up 33.90 points or 0.39 percent at 8729.50.

The 30-share BSE Sensex hit an intraday high of 28958.10, before closing at 28888.86, up 104.19 points. Benchmarks gained 452 points and 1542 points in the five consecutive sessions, respectively.

Gaurav Mehta, Ambit says having found strong support on multiple occasions at the lower end of the all-important channel that has defined Nifty’s upmove over the past twelve months, the uptrend in the index has been reinforced.

“We look for upside targets near the 9000 mark over the next few weeks,” he adds.

Meanwhile, Adrian Mowat of JP Morgan says investors need to see growth for the India story to continue. He sees 15 percent earnigns growth in FY16 and higher rating for India as interest rates are cut.

On the global front, Asian markets (except Nikkei) also closed higher today. Shanghai rallied 4.74 percent and Hang Seng gained 1.7 percent. However, Nikkei slipped 0.5 percent as the Bank of Japan maintained its monetary stimulus of 80 trillion yen per year. FY15 GDP estimates, however, were reduced by the central bank to a decline of 0.5 percent against a growth of 0.5 percent estimated earlier in October.

European markets were mixed ahead of ahead of the European Central Bank policy meeting on Thursday. France’s CAC and Germany’s DAX were marginally down while Britain’s FTSE rose 0.6 percent at the time of closing of Indian equities.

Back home, the biggest contributor to the gains of benchmark indices was HDFC again. The stock surged 2.7 percent today in addition to 6 percent upside in previous session.

FMCG majors moved in opposite direction today. Hindustan Unilever saw huge buying interest in last hour of trade, up 5 percent. However, ITC tanked 5 percent after its Q3 earnings missed on all counts. It reported slow growth in cigarette business, the major contributor to its revenues.

Cigarettes revenue rose just 0.6 percent year-on-year to Rs 4,142 crore dented by price hikes, excise duty and recent increase in the VAT rate in key states (Tamil Nadu, Kerela, Assam). Religare said cigarette volumes for the quarter declined by around 12-13 percent, according to the management. Profit grew 10.5 percent (against forecast of 12.6 percent), boosted by higher other income.

Coal India gained 2 percent after the coal secretary Anil Swarup said the government is in a position to complete coal block allotment by February 28 as entities have surrendered existing coal linkages. The government will notify allotment of 36 coal blocks tomorrow (Thursday) while the list of 16 coal blocks which would be allotted to government companies has already been put on the its website. A total of 46 coal blocks are scheduled to go for auction next month.

Among others, Infosys, State Bank of India, Bharti Airtel, Larsen & Toubro and Sun Pharma rallied 1-4 percent. However, Tata Motors, ONGC, Cipla, Sesa Sterlite and Tata Steel declined 1-2 percent.

Zee Entertainment fell 2 percent. Profit surged 44.5 percent year-on-year to Rs 308.6 crore and revenues rose 14.8 percent to Rs 1,364 crore in the quarter ended December 2014.

The broader markets underperformed benchmarks again. The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices declined 0.2 percent each. Declining shares outnumbered advancing ones by a ratio of 1718 to 1233 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.


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