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Sensex, Nifty advance for 2nd day
24-Jan-20   15:38 Hrs IST

Domestic shares advanced for second straight session on Friday, on broad-based buying support. The barometer BSE S&P Sensex rose 226.79 points or 0.55% to 41,613.19, as per the provisional closing data. The Nifty 50 index added 67.90 points or 0.56% to 12,248.25, as per the provisional closing data.

In the wider market, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index rose 0.77% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index added 0.50%.

The market breadth favored the buyers. On the BSE, 1394 shares rose and 1133 shares fell. A total of 175 shares were unchanged. In Nifty 50 index, 36 stocks advanced while 14 stocks declined.

Buzzing Index:

The Nifty Metal index advanced 0.98% to 2796.40, outperforming all other sectoral indices on the NSE.

Jindal Steel & Power (up 4.7%), Hindustan Copper (up 3.33%), Steel Authority of India (up 1.29%), Vedanta (up 1.04%), National Aluminium Company (up 0.76%), Tata Steel (up 0.5%) and Hindalco Industries (up 0.27%) advanced.

NMDC (down 2.97%) and Hindustan Zinc (down 0.34%) declined.

JSW Steel rose 1.93%. The firm will announce Q3 earnings today, 24 January 2020.

Stocks in Spotlight:

Info Edge (India) jumped 6.1% after the company set up an Alternative Investment Fund named Info Edge Venture Fund (IEVF). The objective of the fund is to invest in tech and tech-enabled entities that provide technology to create market and distribute innovative products and services that benefit consumers at large. The company has entered into a contribution agreement to invest about Rs 100 crore in IE Venture Fund I, a scheme of aforesaid IEVF.

Ultratech Cement rose 2.22% to Rs 4630. On consolidated basis, Ultratech Cement's net profit jumped 79.80% to Rs 712 crore in Q3 December 2019 as against Rs 396 crore reported in Q3 December 2018. Net sales declined 1.15% to Rs 10,176 crore on YoY basis. Profit before tax (PBT) stood at Rs 997.43 crore in Q3 December 2019, up by 68.89% from Rs 590.59 crore in Q3 December 2018.

In its outlook, the company said that signs of revival were visible in some markets during the latter part of Q3FY20. This, together with the government's firm commitment to revive the economy and the thrust on infrastructure spending augur well for the growth of cement demand.

IT major Infosys declined 0.20% to trade at Rs 783 after media reports suggested that the market regulator Sebi could order a forensic audit into its books. The said forensic audit comes in the wake of a whistleblower complaint which alleged that the company's chief executive officer Salil Parekh and the chief financial officer Nilanjan Roy indulged in unethical practices to boost revenue and profits. The whistleblower complaint, which was also sent to the US Securities and Exchange Commission on 30 September, became public on 21 October 2019. The Securities and Exchange Board of India's (Sebi's) decision comes after Infosys's internal audit committee on 10 January 2020 concluded that the charges made by the whistleblowers were substantially without merit.

Gail (India) rose 0.19% to Rs 129.85 after the company filed an application with Supreme Court seeking clarification on the provisional assessment orders received from the Department of Telecommunication (DoT).

HDFC Life Insurance Company fell 1.39% to Rs 607.20. Consolidated net profit rose 2.66% to Rs 251.09 crore on a 13.85% increase in net premium income to Rs 7,854.98 crore in Q3 December 2019 over Q3 December 2019. Consolidated profit before tax (PBT) rose 3.53% to Rs 264.46 crore in Q3 December 2019 as against Rs 255.43 crore in Q3 December 2018

PNB Housing Finance tanked 11.36% to Rs 480.70. On a consolidated basis, the NBFC's net profit fell 21.8% to Rs 237.02 crore in Q3 December 2019 as against Rs 302.97 posted in Q3 December 2018. Net sales declined 0.2% to Rs 2,074.79 crore in Q3 December 2019 as against Rs 2,078.46 crore reported in Q3 December 2018.

EIH Associated Hotels rose 2.67% to Rs 303.30. On standalone basis, the company reported a 17.5% rise in net profit to Rs 20.37 crore in Q3 December 2019 as against Rs 17.33 crore reported in Q3 December 2018. Net sales for the quarter rose 1.2% to Rs 85.82 crore on YoY basis. Profit before tax stood at Rs 28.67 crore in Q3 December 2019, up by 6.6% from Rs 26.90 crore in Q3 December 2018.

Zensar Technologies slumped 12.09% to Rs 175.75 after declaring its Q3 results post market hours yesterday, 23 January 2020. Zensar Technologies' consolidated net profit fell 50.50% to Rs 39.53 crore on a 4.82% decline in total income to Rs 1,020.59 crore in Q3 December 2019 compared with Q2 September 2019. Consolidated net profit fell 28.50% to Rs 39.53 crore on a 1.4% decline in total income to Rs 1,020.59 crore in Q3 December 2019 as against Q3 December 2019.

Global Markets:

European shares advanced while most Asian shares ended higher on Friday. Investors continued to monitor the situation surrounding a fast-spreading coronavirus that was first diagnosed less than a month ago. The total number of coronavirus cases in China jumped to 830, Chinese state media reported on Friday. There are at least 14 known cases outside mainland China, bringing the cases worldwide to 844.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday declined to designate the ongoing outbreak of a novel virus in China a global health emergency, saying that, for now, health officials have enough resources to combat the outbreak there and in other countries and that the agency does not need the additional authorities that come from such a declaration.

Major markets across the region such as China and South Korea were closed on Friday ahead of the Lunar New Year that starts on Saturday.

Back in Europe, the euro and German bund yields sank on Thursday after the European Central Bank (ECB)'s President Christine Lagarde struck a slightly more dovish tone than markets were expecting in a press conference, after the ECB left monetary policy unchanged at its first meeting of 2020.

In US, stocks ended mixed on Thursday, recovering from early losses, as investors digested earnings reports and took heart from the WHO's decision.

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