Business

Markets flat ahead of CPI numbers; GAIL down 3%, HDFC up 1%

Benchmark indices continue to trade in a narrow range as investors remain cautious ahead of the CPI numbers due to be released post market hours.

Weakness in auto shares and banks are offset by gains in select heavyweights coupled by a firm rally in FMCG stocks.

At 11.50 AM, the Sensex is quoting at 28,912, up 32 points and the Nifty is at 8,790 up 10 points.

The markets are shut tomorrow on the account of Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Jayanti.

Consumer inflation may edge up in March for the fourth straight month from a record low in November, as heavy rains drove up food prices, giving the central bank pause for thought as it waits for the next chance to cut interest rates.

Consumer prices may likely rise upto 5.5% in March from a year earlier compared with February’s 5.37%, according to a Reuters’ poll of economists.
 

RUPEE

The rupee fell by 5 paise to 62.36 against the US dollar in early trade today at the Interbank Foreign Exchange on rising demand for the American currency from importers.

CRUDE OIL

Crude oil prices rose marginally on Monday as financial traders increased their bets on higher prices amid a slowdown in US drilling, but analysts warned fundamentals remained weak.

KEY STOCKS

On the sectoral front, BSE Realty and Consumer Durables are the top gainers and are trading higher by 1% followed by Capital Goods, FMCG, Metal indices up 0.5% each. However, BSE Auto, Bankex and Oil & Gas indices are trading lower up to 0.7%.

Gail falls over 3% after Credit Suisse downgraded the stock to “underperform” from “neutral” saying that India’s LNG demand has fallen with a drop in oil prices, which has hit GAIL’s gas trading business

State Bank of India announced a cut in home loan interest rate by up to 0.25 per cent for new borrowers.  The stock is down over 0.6%.

State-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp’s acquisition of 10 per cent stake in a giant Mozambique gas field had helped the seller make a neat profit of $ 1.5 billion or over 62 per cent of the purchase price. The stock is up 0.5%.

IMaruti Suzuki aims to again outpace the local market in the new financial year with double-digit sales growth.  The stock is down 0.4%.

HDFC has got RBI clearance to raise up to USD 500 million (about Rs 3,100 crore) as Exteral Commercial Borrowing (ECB) to fund its business growth.  The stock climbed 1%.

L&T signed an MoU with French firm Areva for cooperation to maximize localization for the 9,900-MW Jaitapur nuclear plant in Maharashtra. The stock advanced nearly 1%.

Sun Pharma board approves allotment of equity shares to shareholders of erstwhile Ranbaxy Labs. The stock is up 1%.

Finance ministry official says further share sale in Coal India not ruled out. The stock is 0.5% down.

The broader markets continue to outperform the large counterparts. BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices are up between 0.5-1.3%.

The market breadth is firm on the BSE with 1,570 advances versus 829 declines.