September 18, 2020

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Indian Stocks Modestly Higher After Flat Start

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The Indian stock market is modestly higher Wednesday morning with investors largely making cautious moves in early trades, reacting to quarterly earnings reports and looking ahead to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement, due later today.

While the overnight rise in the U.S. market and optimism about coronavirus vaccines are aiding sentiment, India-China tensions at the border appear to be limiting market’s upside.

The benchmark BSE Sensex is up 84.44 points or 0.22% at 39,128.79. The index touched a high of 39,161.40, after edging down slightly in early trades.

The National Stock Exchange’s Nifty is up 26.45 points or 0.23% at 11,548.25.

Mahindra & Mahindra is gaining about 4.5%. Bajaj Auto is up nearly 3% and Maruti Suzuki is advancing by about 1.1%.

Bajaj Finserv, Larsen & Toubro, UltraTech Cement, Bajaj Finance, Nestle and HDFC Bank are also up in positive territory.

HCL Technologies is declining by about 1.6%. Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank and Tech Mahindra are down 0.4 to 0.8%.

Grasim Industries is rising 2.3%. Hindalco is gaining about 1.7%, while Eicher Motors and HDFC Life are both stronger by 1.3%. BPCL and Britannia Industries are gaining about 1% each.

Aurobindo Pharma shares are up nearly 2%. The stock rallied about 4% in early trades, lifted by an announcement from the company that it is collaborating with Council of Scientific and Industrial Research to develop vaccines to protect against Covid-19.

Future Enterprises Limited said it posted consolidated net loss of Rs 322.92 crore in the April – June quarter, compared with net loss of just Rs 8.59 crore in the corresponding quarter last year. The stock is down by about 1%.

SpiceJet shares are down 0.8%. The airliner reported a net loss of Rs 600.5 crore for the quarter ended June 2020, as against net profit of Rs 262.8 crore in the year-ago quarter.

On the economic front, data released by the government on Tuesday showed India’s trade deficit narrowed sharply to US$ 6.77 billion in August of 2020 from US$13.86 billion in the same month last year. Exports were down 12.7% to US$22.7 billion, while imports went down 26% to US$29.47 billion.

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2020-09-16 00:40:15

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