IT shares boost markets; Sensex up 141 points
Markets ended higher on Monday, shrugging off weak global cues, with IT majors gaining the most after they reported better-than-expected third quarter earnings.
The 30-share Sensex ended up 141 points at 21,205 and the 50-share Nifty gained 42 points to close at 6,304.
The rupee was trading weak against the US dollar at Rs 61.60 compared with previous close of Rs 61.54 per dollar.
Shares in China eased as investors turned cautious amid liquidity concerns even as fourth quarter (Oct-Dec) GDP which came in at 7.7% was tad higher than expectations of 7.6%.
Meanwhile, industrial production in December which was lower-than-expected at 9.7% compared to December 2012 also weighed on market sentiment.
The Shanghai Composite ended down 0.7%. Hang Seng ended down 0.9%. Japanese shares also ended weak with the benchmark Nikkei closing 0.6% lower and Straits Times ended down 0.4%.
Shares in Europe opened lower tracking losses of their Asian peers after China's fourth quarter (Oct-Dec) GDP came in marginally lower at 7.7% compared with 7.8% in the previous quarter.
CAC-40, DAX and FTSE-100 were down 0.1-0.3% each.
The BSE IT index was the top gainer among the sectoral indices on the BSE up 2.8% followed by FMCG while Bankex, Capital Goods and POwer indices came off their day's highs.
IT shares have remained in demand with eight IT exporters reporting a combined 37% year-on-year growth in net profit and 27% net sales growth.
Their core operating margin (excluding the impact of other income), at 28% of net sales, was at a three-year high -- 60 basis points higher on sequential basis and 170 basis points more when compared with the same period last year.
Wipro ended nearly 4% up after the company projected average revenue of $1,729 million from IT services in the current quarter (Q4) of this fiscal (FY 2014).
The stock opened at Rs 553 and touched high of Rs 578, its highest level since April 2000 on the BSE. Among other IT majors TCS ended up 5.7% and Infosys gained 0.5%.
HCL Technologies joined the elite club of Rs 1 trillion market-cap firms after the stock hit an intra-day high of Rs 1,443.75 on the BSE.
The stock ended up 3.7% at Rs 1,432.
ITC ended up 1.7% after it posted a year-on-year rise of 16% in its net profit for the quarter ended December 2013 at Rs 2,385 crore, while net sales came in 13.1% higher on year-on-year (y-o-y) basis at Rs 8,623 crore.
Nirmal Bang Securities has revised its target price on ITC upwards to Rs 394 from Rs 370 earlier based on sum-of-the-parts (FY15E), citing attractive valuations.
Bank shares such as HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, SBI, Axis Bank which had firmed also trimmed some of their gains to end up 0.2-1% each.
Auto majors Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra ended up 0.8-1% each.
Meanwhile, Reliance Industries ended 1.7% down on concerns that net profit would have been lower-than-estimated without sharp growth in other income.
The company’s net profit stayed flat both sequentially and annually at Rs 5,511 crore during the October-December quarter of FY14 compared with Rs 5,502 crore year ago quarter.
RIL’s other income stood at Rs 6,900 crore, up 32 per cent against Rs 5,755 crore in the corresponding previous quarter.
Among other shares, Indoco Remedies surged 11% to end at Rs 123 after the company said that it has not received any warning letter from US Food and Drug Administration.
Sandur Manganese and Iron Ore soared 11% to end at Rs 587 after the company said it has resumed the mining operations in Karnataka from today.
Nucleus Software Exports surged 20% to end at Rs 163 on reporting more than doubled consolidated net profit at Rs 23.38 crore for the quarter ended December 2013.
The small-sized IT software products maker had profit of Rs 10.94 crore in September 2013 quarter and Rs 12.32 crore in a year ago quarter.
Force Motors dipped 6.3% to end at Rs 340 after commercial vehicle maker reported a loss of Rs 8.37 crore in the third quarter that ended on December 31, 2013 (Q3), due to higher raw material and other expenditure.
The company had posted a net profit of Rs 8.13 crore in the same period a year ago.
Aurobindo Pharma ended higher by 6.3% at Rs 409 after the company announced the signing of a binding offer to acquire commercial operations in seven Western European countries from Actavis.
Reliance MediaWorks surged 19% to end at Rs 55.25 after the company said it is planning to delist its shares from the bourses.
In the broader market, the BSE Mid-cap and Small-cap indices were up 0.8-1% each.
Market breadth was strong with 1,407 gainers and 1,236 losers on the BSE.
Image: Lord Mayor of London Fiona Woolf ringing the closing bell at BSE along with Sir Paul Judge.