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Markets end in green as Fed rate hike fears dim

By Tulemino Antao
August 18, 2016 17:45 IST
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Financials were the top gainers lead by private lenders ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank

Stock markets today snapped a two-day losing streak after minutes of the US Federal Reserve meeting signalled no interest rate hikes in the near term, and raised hopes that the pace of foreign inflows into the domestic market would continue.

The S&P BSE Sensex rose 118 points to close at 28,123 and the Nifty50 gained 49 points to settle at 8,673. In the broader market, the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices ended up 0.6%-1% each. Market breadth was positive with 1612 gainers and 864 losers on the BSE.

"The market turned positive after the FOMC minutes which cooled the prospects for a hike in Fed rate in the near term. As a result, any risk to the foreign liquidity has been reversed proving a cushion to the ongoing trend," said Vinod Nair, Head of Fundamental Research at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.

Meanwhile, minutes from the Federal Reserve's July meeting signalled that policy makers remain divided on prospects for a near-term rate increase.

Gains were led by financials with private lenders gaining the most. ICICI Bank ended nearly 2% higher followed by HDFC Bank, Axis Bank and IndusInd Bank among others. Among others, HDFC rose 0.4% and SBI gained 0.7%.

Bharti Airtel ended up over 2% on reports that Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) intends to acquire a stake in Thailand's Intouch Holdings and also raise its holding in Bharti Airtel's holding company Bharti Telecom to take advantage of faster growth in emerging markets.

BHEL gained 1.5%. The state-owned engineering major announced that it has bagged EPC Order for 30 MW Solar Photovoltaic Power Plants.

The company is among seven Indian firms that have made it to a carbon-clean list of 200 largest companies worldwide ranked by their total clean-energy revenues. BHEL was ranked 106 for its wind electric generators and solar cells.

Adani Ports extended gains to end nearly 3% higher. The company last week reported 31% year-on-year (YoY) jump in its consolidated net profit at Rs 836 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2016.

NTPC surged over 4% ahead of its June quarter earnings on Monday, August 22, 2016.

Infosys extended losses to end nearly 1% down after its key client Royal Bank of Soctland scrapped a key IT project.

Coal India was the top loser down over 2% on profit taking after recent gains. Reports suggest that the state-owned firm is showing reluctance to declare its non-operational coal-mines as abandoned, preventing the authorities from using the space for disposing fly ash in Chhattisgarh.

Power Grid Corporation ended 3% higher after the state-owned company reported 33% growth in net profit at Rs 1,802 crore for the quarter ended June 2016.

Among other shares, Jubilant Life Sciences extended gains to end 12% higher at Rs 492. In past seven trading sessions, the stock of pharmaceutical company surged 44% from Rs 330 on August 8, after reported a healthy margin expansion.

Fortis Healthcare ended 3% higher ahead of the board meeting on Friday to consider valuation and share entitlement ratio for demerger of its diagnostic business, SRL Ltd.

Shares of sugar companies back into focus and rallied by up to 20% on the bourses after correcting more than 20% from their 1-year high price. Ugar Sugar Works, Dwarikesh Sugar Industries, Oudh Sugar Mills, Parrys Sugar Industries, Rajshree Sugar Chemicals, Dharani Sugars & Chemicals, Rana Sugars, Riga Sugar Company, Mawana Sugars and Uttam Sugar Mills gained over 4% each.

Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

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Tulemino Antao in Mumbai
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