The Indian benchmark indices closed higher on Monday, undermining mixed cues from global peers, amid earnings optimism even as the threat of increasing Covid-19 cases continued to loom on the equity market. Investors seemed to have shrugged off Covid-19 concerns and shifted focus to corporate earnings season. The market is expecting to report strong earnings in the December quarter, with IT heavyweights TCS and Infosys, and banking major HDFC Bank slated to release their third-quarter earnings report this week.
The BSE Sensex ended 651 points, or 1.09%, higher at 60,395, while the NSE Nifty gained 190 points, or 1.07%, to reclaim 18,000 levels. Earlier today, the Indian benchmark indices opened higher, undermining mixed cues from Asian peers, led by gains in index heavyweights such as RIL, ICICI Bank, ITC, Maruti, and HDFC Bank.
In line with the benchmark indices, the broader markets also settled with solid gains. The S&P BSE Midcap index closed 0.69% higher, while the S&P BSE Smallcap index ended with a 1.19% gain.
The overall market breadth on the BSE was positive, with 2,278 shares advancing out of total 4,026 traded stocks. Out of total shares, 1,120 shares dropped and 138 were unchanged.
The equity market witnessed broad-based buying with all the major sectors closing in positive terrain. The capital goods and realty sectors were among top performers, while healthcare and metal indices settled with least gains.
The BSE CGS index emerged as the best performer by rising 2.27%, led by Elgi Equipments, GMR Infrastructure, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), Hindustan Aeronautics, and Bharat Forge. The CGS index was followed by the realty index, which settled 1.9% higher. The top gainers in the real estate space were Sunteck Realty, Oberoi Realty, Brigade Enterprises, Indiabulls Real Estate, and DLF.
Top gainers and losers
Luxury products company Titan emerged as the top gainer on the BSE Sensex pack, ending 3.3% higher. The stock witnessed a surge in buying as investors cheered strong demand across its consumer businesses during the festive season.
Some of the other notable gainers on the BSE Sensex pack were Maruti Suzuki India, Larsen & Toubro, State Bank of India, and Housing Development Finance Corporation, which rose nearly 2.5% each.
On the losing side, IT major Wipro topped the chart by falling 2.5% on the BSE. The other top laggards included Nestle India, Asian Paints, Power Grid Corporation of India, and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, which fell in the range of 0.5-1.2%.
Paytm (One 97 Communications): Shares of e-commerce and fintech company dropped 5.9% after a foreign brokerage firm cut its target price for the firm. Analysts at Macquarie have lowered the target price for Paytm to ₹900 apiece, down 25% from its previous target of ₹1,200 and 58% below the public issue price of ₹2,150 per share. Shares of Paytm were currently trading 45% lower than the IPO price.
TCS: Shares of the country’s largest IT services company ended 0.8% higher after it announced that its board will consider a share buyback proposal on January 12. The IT bellwether is already scheduled to release its December quarter results on that day.
Avenue Supermarts: The share price of the company, that owns and operates retail chain D-Mart, dropped 2% after it released the December quarter earnings report. The company has reported 24.6% growth in net profit at ₹586 crore, while revenue rose by 22% to ₹9,065 crore in Q3 FY22, as compared to the same period last year.
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL): Shares of Mukesh Ambani-led company ended 0.17% higher after it acquired majority shares of luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental New York for $98.5 million. During the day’s trade, the stock gained nearly 1% as investors cheered the news. The acquisition of the premium luxury hotels in New York City was part of the company’s strategy to expand its presence in the consumer and hospitality business.
Oberoi Realty: Shares of the Mumbai-based realty firm surged 3.3% after it reported strong sales during the October-December period. For the December quarter of 2021, it posted an over two-fold rise in its sales bookings at ₹1,965 crore, driven by higher demand.
Ipca Laboratories: Shares of the pharmaceutical company dropped 3.4% today after the stock turned ex-date for 1:1 split. The company has as fixed January 11, 2022, as the 'record date' for the member's entitlement of sub-divided shares. Under the stock split, each equity share of ₹2 apiece would be sub-divided into two fully paid-up equity shares of ₹1 each.
United Phosphorus Ltd: Shares of UPL surged 4.6% today, extending gain for the fourth straight session, on hopes of margin expansion.
Global markets subdued ahead of U.S. inflation data
Overseas, Asian markets ended on a mixed note, while European stocks slipped in early trade as caution prevailed ahead of the release of the U.S. inflation data later this week. Investors also awaited more comment from U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell to have clarity on the timing of winding up of economic stimulus and interest rate hikes.
In the Asia-Pacific region, shares in mainland China ended higher, with the Shanghai composite rising 0.39%, while the Shenzhen component climbed 0.44%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng emerged as the best performer in the region with a 1.08% gain.
On the flip side, South Korea’s KOSPI was the worst performer in the regional market by falling 0.95%. Thailand’s Set Composite and Australia’s ASX 200 index also traded lower.
Meanwhile, in the European market, Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC traded lower in early deal, following weak cues from Wall Street. Similarly, Spain’s IBEX index edged lower in opening trade on Monday.
Bucking the trend, the UK’s FTSE 100 index and Italy’s FTSE MIB index traded higher with marginal gains.
On Wall Street, all three major U.S. indexes ended lower on Friday as weaker-than-expected job growth last month further raised concerns about a potential rate hike by the Federal Reserve. Over the weekend on Friday, the Dow Jones dropped 0.01%, the S&P 500 lost 0.41% and the NASDAQ Composite tumbled 0.96%.