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Closing Report

Market settles with modest gains


Key benchmark indices logged modest gains in a steady session of trade as firmness in Infosys and Reliance Industries boosted gains on the domestic bourses. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rose 164.48 points or 0.56% to settle at 29,332.16. The Nifty 50 index rose 55.85 points or 0.62% to settle at 9,086.30. Key indices remained in the positive zone throughout the day. Domestic stocks snapped three-day fall today, 23 March 2017.

Key indices saw a late rally after hovering in the positive terrain in a narrow range for the most part of the session. Indices had opened with small gains on firm Asian stocks.

The Sensex rose 164.48 points or 0.56% to settle at 29,332.16, its highest closing level since 21 March 2017. The index gained 206.11 points or 0.71% at the day's high of 29,373.79. The index rose 30.40 points or 0.1% at the day's low of 29,198.08.

The Nifty rose 55.85 points or 0.62% to settle at 9,086.30, its highest closing level since 21 March 2017. The index gained 68.60 points or 0.76% at the day's high of 9,099.05. The index rose 18.15 points or 0.2% at the day's low of 9,048.

The BSE Mid-Cap index rose 0.96%. The BSE Small-Cap index gained 0.91%. Both these indices outperformed the Sensex.

The breadth, indicating overall health of the market was positive. On BSE, 1,687 shares rose and 1,112 shares fell. A total of 204 shares were unchanged.

The total turnover on BSE amounted to Rs 6473.39 crore, lower than the turnover of Rs 8021.61 crore registered during the previous trading session.

Among the sectoral indices on BSE, the S&P BSE Metal index (up 1.08%), the S&P BSE Industrials index (up 1.23%), the S&P BSE Auto index (up 0.84%), the S&P BSE Finance index (up 0.77%), the S&P BSE Bankex (up 0.6%), the S&P BSE Basic Materials index (up 0.63%), the S&P BSE Power index (up 1.2%), the S&P BSE Healthcare index (up 0.63%), the S&P BSE Oil & Gas index (up 1.21%), the S&P BSE Energy index (up 1.21%), the S&P BSE Utilities index (up 1.27%), the S&P BSE IT index (up 0.58%), and the S&P BSE Consumer Discretionary Goods & Services index (up 0.58%) outperformed the Sensex.

The S&P BSE Telecom index (up 0.33%), the S&P BSE FMCG index (down 0.1%), the S&P BSE Teck index (up 0.54%) the S&P BSE Realty index (up 0.31%), and the S&P BSE Consumer Durables index (up 0.12%) underperformed the Sensex.

Index heavyweight and software major Infosys advanced 1.25% to Rs 1,040.60. The stock hit high of Rs 1,042.55 and low of Rs 1,026.55 in intraday trade.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries (RIL) gained 1.16%.

Metal and mining stocks gained on bargain hunting after the recent slide. Vedanta (up 1.78%), JSW Steel (up 0.13%), Tata Steel (up 1.37%), Steel Authority of India (Sail) (up 0.57%), National Aluminium Company (up 0.68%), Jindal Steel & Power (up 0.56%), Hindalco Industries (up 0.18%), NMDC (up 1.27%) and Hindustan Copper (up 1.9%) edged higher.

Copper edged higher in the global commodities market. High Grade Copper for March 2017 delivery was currently up 0.32% at $2.6390 per pound on the COMEX.

Hindustan Zinc gained 2.71% after the company said its board of directors at a meeting held on Wednesday, 22 March 2017, approved special interim dividend of Rs 27.50 per share for the year ending 31 March 2017 (FY 2017). The record date for the payment of interim dividend is 30 March 2017. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 22 March 2017.

Bhushan Steel jumped 7.48% on media reports that the company could be acquired by Vedanta. According to media reports, lenders of Bhushan Steel are likely to start a competitive bidding process to sell the steel firm as they seek to recover some of the more than Rs 40000 owed by the steel producer. Vedanta is reportedly in talks with lenders to buy Bhushan Steel as it was keen to enter the steel sector. Vedanta may compete with JSW Steel for the bid.

The liberal dividend from Hindustan Zinc may give Vedanta the strength needed to acquire Bhushan Steel, reports added.

Bank stocks gained. Among public sector banks, UCO Bank (up 0.42%), Corporation Bank (up 0.32%), Allahabad Bank (up 0.51%), Bank of Baroda (up 0.56%), State Bank of India (SBI) (up 0.32%), Union Bank of India (up 1.02%), Canara Bank (up 0.04%), Bank of India (up 0.64%) and United Bank of India (up 3.08%) edged higher. Syndicate Bank (down 0.15%) and Punjab National Bank (down 0.8%) declined.

Among private sector banks, Axis Bank (up 0.74%), ICICI Bank (up 0.55%), Kotak Mahindra Bank (up 0.43%), Federal Bank (up 1.26%), Yes Bank (up 3.12%), and IndusInd Bank (up 0.74%) edged higher. HDFC Bank declined 0.04%.

Shares of power generation and power distribution companies also gained in a firm market. Torrent Power (up 1.39%), NHPC (up 0.67%), Tata Power Company (up 0.23%), Adani Power (up 1.4%), Power Grid Corporation of India (up 0.47%), Reliance Infrastructure (up 1.92%) and Reliance Power (up 1.8%) gained.

NTPC rose 2.27% after the company said that the second unit of 800 megawatts (MW) of Kudgi Super Thermal Power Station of 2400 MW has been commissioned. With this, the commissioned capacity of Kudgi Super Thermal Power Station, NTPC and NTPC group has become 1600 MW, 42977 MW and 49943 MW respectively. The announcement was made during market hours today, 23 March 2017.

Shares of state run coal mining major Coal India rose 1.18% to Rs 295.70. The stock had hit high of Rs 296.80 and low of Rs 292.50 in intraday trade.

Meanwhile, key indices snapped three-day winning streak today, 22 March 2017. The Sensex had dropped 481.31 points or 1.62% in three sessions, to settle at 29,167.68 on 22 March 2017, from a close of 29,648.99 on 17 March 2017. The Sensex has risen 588.84 points or 2.04% in this month so far (till 23 March 2017). The Sensex has gained 2,705.70 points, or 10.16% in the calender year 2017 (till 23 March 2017). From a 52-week low of 24,523.20 hit on 11 April 2016, the barometer index has risen 4,808.96 points or 19.6%. From a 52-week high of 29,824.62 hit on 17 March 2017, the barometer index has fallen 492.46 points or 1.65%. The Sensex is off 692.58 points or 2.3% from a record high of 30,024.74 hit on 4 March 2015.

Overseas, European stocks were trading on a mixed note while Asian stocks rose ahead of crucial congressional vote on the US healthcare reform later in the day.

UK retail sales rebounded in February following three consecutive months of decline, data showed, but the underlying trend remained weak, suggesting the industry was unlikely to make a positive contribution to growth in the first quarter. Sales in February grew by 1.4% from the previous month, the Office for National Statistics said, driven by strong sales across all categories, with household goods stores performing particularly well. Compared with the same month last year, sales rose by 3.7%.

US stocks rebounded yesterday, 22 March 2017 after posting the biggest decline since October as technology stocks posted strong gains.

Investors are focusing on progress of US President Donald Trump's pro-growth policies as Republican lawmakers and Trump struggled to garner support for controversial healthcare legislation scheduled for a vote in the House of Representatives today, 23 March 2017. Losing or delaying the vote would bruise investors' confidence in Trump's legislative ability and his ability to keep his big promises to business.

US stocks had rallied after the November 2016 presidential election, on bets that the pro-growth Trump agenda would be quickly pushed by a Republican Party with majorities in both chambers of Congress.

Markets will also be keenly awaiting cues from the US Federal Reserve this week with Chairwoman Janet Yellen due to speak later today. The Fed raised its benchmark lending rate a quarter point last week and continued to project two more increases this year.

On the economic front, sales of previously-owned homes tumbled in February as the housing market remains choked by tight inventory. Existing-home sales were at a 5.48 million seasonally-adjusted annual rate last month, the National Association of Realtors said yesterday, 22 March 2017.

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