Stock Market

Sensex, Nifty may see weak opening; L&T, HDFC in focus



Chillicious Bureau

The market on Monday may see a slightly weak opening, as indicated by the trend on SGX Nifty. The index is trading half a percent lower in early morning trade.

The Street will also watch out for mixed cues on the global front, even as US President Donald Trump’s protectionist stance spooks investors. The Indian market had seen a strong performance last week in the run-up to the Union Budget and steady earnings.

In the Asian markets, Nikkei was trading lower by 0.77 percent after data showed that December retail sales rose 0.6 percent from the previous year. Another key event to watch for the markets there would be Bank of Japan’s crucial two-day monetary policy meeting. Meanwhile, markets in China, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan are shut for public holidays.

Wall Street ended on a mixed note on Friday after the initial fourth-quarter GDP read fell short of estimates, but managed to record weekly gains of around 1 percent. The Dow Jones slipped 10 points but held above 20,000-mark.

US President Trump Friday introduced immigration curbs that has sparked a backlash in the United States and abroad. He put a 120-day hold on allowing refugees into the country, an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria and a 90-day bar on citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

In Europe, markets closed lower on Friday, with investors digesting corporate earnings and fluctuations in currency markets. Auto stocks were the worst performers as they were trading down by 0.92 percent after Trump’s hawkish remarks on trade tariffs for the sector.

Back home, the market began the February Futures and Options (F&O) series on a positive note as benchmark equity indices saw good buying interest throughout the day, but lost a bit of its early gains towards closing as index heavyweight ITC lost 3 percent post Q3. The Sensex closed up 174.32 points or 0.6 percent at 27882.46, and the Nifty was up 38.50 points or 0.4 percent at 8,641.25.

Among stocks to watch would be Larsen and Toubro, HDFC, Tech Mahindra and Grasim. L&T, on January 28, reported a mixed Q3 performance. Its consolidated profit in Q3 increased 39 percent year-on-year to Rs 972.4 crore, but slashed its full year revenue growth guidance to 10 percent from 12-15 percent earlier due to challenging business conditions. Good operational performance boosted bottomline growth.

In the earnings space, HDFC may report a 10 percent growth in its December quarter net profit. Its asset under management (AUM) growth is seen at 15 percent, while gross NPAs may be below 0.85 percent, according to a CNBC-TV18 poll. Tech Mahindra is expected to report a steady quarter, while its constant currency growth is seen at 3 percent. The company’s topline growth will be supported by incremental contribution from its target group, analysts polled by CNBC-TV18 state.

The dollar slipped, nudging off a one-week high against a basket of currencies after treasury yields declined on data showing the US economy grew at a slower-than-expected pace. Also traders digested the tensions sparked by Trump’s order halting immigration from some nations.

Crude prices were lower, extending losses, after data suggested drilling is ramping up in the United States, easing the focus on efforts by OPEC and other producers to support prices by cutting supplies.

Gold prices remained steady, but traded below 1,200 dollars an ounce.