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Moody’s lifts Sensex 177 pts; Reliance up 3%, PNB jumps 6%


The News International Team

Bulls remained in power on Thursday as the market cheered the India outlook upgrade by Moody’s. The Nifty ended above 8750 level supported by banks stocks and index heavyweight Reliance Industries. However, healthcare and telecom stocks were under pressure.

The market sustained its uptrend for the fifth consecutive session today with the 30-share BSE Sensex rallying 177.46 points or 0.62 percent to 28885.21. The 50-share NSE Nifty climbed 63.90 points or 0.73 percent to 8778.30.

Moody’s has upgraded India’s outlook to positive from stable but the rating remained unchanged at Baa3. The rating agency said rating upgrade will depend on investment uptick and reform implementation.

“It’s a reflection of the fundamentals improving dramatically in India and it will lead to further inflows by FIIs,” said Hans Goetti, head of Investment – Asia, Banque Internationale.

“We have actually seen quite a lot of inflows over the past few months into bonds especially fixed income. This is because interest rates in India are bound to come down as inflation comes down and on a risk reward basis bonds are probably even more attractive than equities at this point, so foreign inflows will continue,” Goetti explained.

RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan said Moody’s outlook upgrade is positive but India must do more.

Meanwhile, the Hyderabad Special Court sentenced Ramalinga Raju, the prime accused of the Satyam fraud to 7 years imprisonment, finding him guilty of cheating, forgery, and criminal breach of trust. All other accused also held guilty by the court.

Banks took the lead with the BSE Bankex rising 2.5 percent or 459 points. Country’s largest lender State Bank of India was up 2.5 percent while its rival Axis Bank gained 2.9 percent. ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank rallied 1.7 percent each. Punjab National Bank, IndusInd Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank topped the buying list on Nifty, up 4-6 percent.

Petrochemical major Reliance Industries was the leading contributor to Sensex’s gains, up 3.4 percent followed by Tata Steel with 2.7 percent upside.

Coal India gained 1.7 percent as brokerage Macquarie reiterated its outperform rating on the stock with increased target price of Rs 452 (from Rs 420) and upgraded earnings by 8 percent after coal ministry issued a directive removing an earlier cap on e-auction volume effective April 2015.

However, the BSE Healthcare Index dropped 2 percent after Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded Sun Pharma to underperform from buy; and Lupin, Cipla & Cadila Healthcare to neutral from buy. The brokerage believes that some stocks in sector may be priced to perfection with less room for error. Sun Pharma, Lupin and Cadila Healthcare plunged 3 percent each while Cipla lost 2 percent.

Telecom stocks like Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular slipped 2-3 percent after TRAI has reduced ceiling tariffs on national roaming. Come May 1, national roaming voice tariff will be cut by 25 percent and SMS tariff will see a 75 percent reduction.

It was a stellar listing for Inox Wind that listed at a 24 percent premium to the issue price of Rs 325 today. The scrip closed at Rs 438.40, higher by 34.89 percent. Deepak Asher, Director of the company said the company is extremely bullish on the renewable energy sector which is set for unprecedented growth going forward.

Max India climbed nearly 4 percent after the Reserve Bank of India notified government’s decision to raise FDI limit in the insurance sector, paving the way for Bupa to increase stake in Max Bupa.

The market breadth was positive as about 1579 shares advanced against 1263 shares declined on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Global markets were mixed today. Hang Seng continued its surge, rising more than 700 points to hit a fresh 7-year high. However, Shanghai fell 0.9 percent on profit booking. In Europe, France’s CAC, Germany’s DAX and Britain’s FTSE gained 0.5-1 percent (at 16 hours IST).

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