Sensex trades 70 points higher; HUL, Bharti Airtel gain

Among the sectoral indices, BSE realty index was the top sectoral gainer, up 1.8%


After gaining over 230 points in opening trade, India’s benchmark Sensex erased most of the gains and was trading 70 points as investors booked profits at higher levels.

India’s wholesale price index (WPI)-based inflation for January fell to -0.39% as compared to 0.11% in December. A Bloomberg poll expected WPI inflation will be at 0.11% for January compared with 0.11% in December.

Rising for the fifth consecutive session, at 12.17pm, the 30-share S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.26%, or 76.37 points, at 29,171.30 points, while the National Stock Exchange’s broader 50-share Nifty was up 0.19%, or 16.40 points, at 8,821.90 points.

On Friday, the government issued data on trade deficit, which narrowed to $ 8.32 billion in January, against $ 9.45 billion in the year-ago period. Exports contracted by 11.19% to $ 23.88 billion against $ 26.89 billion last year. Imports slipped by 11.39% to $ 32.2 billion, against $ 36.3 billion in the same month last year.

Among the gainers, Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) rose 2.2% to Rs.912.25 and Bharti Airtel Ltd 2.1% to Rs.362.55.

Among the losers, Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd fell 2.3% to Rs.917.50 after the company on Saturday reported a 6.9% fall in its net quarterly profit to Rs.1,425 crore compared to Rs.1,531crore a year ago. Hero MotoCorp Ltd fell 1.7% to Rs.2,803.50.

Among the sectoral indices, BSE realty index was the top sectoral gainer, up 1.8% followed by the FMCG index which was up 1.4%. The auto and power indices which were up 0.9% each. Teck and metal indices were up 0.6% and 0.5% respectively. The consumer durables index was the top sectoral loser, down 0.9% followed by the oil and gas and healthcare indices, which were down 0.3% each.

Unitech Ltd rose 12% to Rs.18.70 after the company posted a 32% increase in its net profit to Rs.43.34 crore in December quarter as compared to Rs.32.83 crore a year ago.

ITC Ltd rose 1.9% to Rs.385.05 after it agreed to buy Johnson and Johnson’s Savlon antiseptic and Shower to Shower body talc brands, as the company seeks to reinforce its range of personal care products.

HDFC Bank Ltd rose 1.3% to Rs.1,079.60. The bank on Saturday said net profit for October-December 2014 rose 20% to Rs.2,795 crore from Rs.2,326 crore in the corresponding period in 2013, led by higher net interest income and other income.

Suzlon Energy Ltd rose 15.7% to Rs.22.15 after the company said it has signed definitive agreements with Dilip Shanghvi Family and Associates (DSA) for equity investments of Rs.1,800 crore in the company.

Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) rose 6.31% to Rs.117.15 after the company said its consolidated net profit zoomed to Rs.67.29 crore for the quarter ended 31 December from Rs.5.10 crore in the comparable period.

Rajesh Exports Ltd rose 4.5% to Rs.176.40 after the company posted a net profit of Rs.171.26 crore in the December quarter, up 86.82% from a year ago.

So far in 2015, the Sensex has gained 5.8%, while foreign institutional investors have bought $ 2.43 billion from local equity and $ 4.47 billion from bond markets.

Asian markets were trading higher on Monday morning led by gains in Japan after its economy emerged out of recession in the December quarter. Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average was up 0.66% after gross domestic product (GDP) grew 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.23%, while China’s Shanghai Composite gained 0.13%.

On Friday, Wall Street indices climbed to record highs and their European counterparts closed at seven-year peaks, on encouragement from the Ukraine peace deal and signs of growth in the eurozone with GDP up 0.3% in the December quarter. The Dow Jones Industrial advanced 0.3%, Nasdaq Composite gained 0.8% and S&P 500 was up 0.4%.

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