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Mid - Session Commentary
Bank stocks surge
12-Feb-18   13:21 Hrs IST

The stock market continued to trade with modest gains in afternoon trade. At 13:15 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex rose 229.30 points or 0.67% at 34,235.06. The Nifty 50 index gained 63.30 points or 0.61% at 10,518.25. Firmness in Asian stocks supported gains on the bourses. Trading in US index futures indicating Dow could jump at the open today also boosted sentiment.

The market opened higher on firm global cues. Key indices held steady in morning trade after paring initial gains. Stocks held firm later during the session so far.

Among secondary indices, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index rose 1.4%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index gained 1.76%. Both these indices outperformed the Sensex.

The breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was quite strong. There were more than three gainers for every loser. On the BSE, 2,071 shares advanced and 616 shares declined. A total of 128 shares were unchanged.

Bank stocks surged. Among public sector banks, IDBI Bank (up 8.44%), Bank of Baroda (up 6.97%), Indian Bank (up 6.97%), Punjab National Bank (up 3.19%) and Bank of India (up 2.17%) gained.

State Bank of India (SBI) fell 2.09% after the bank announced weak Q3 results after market hours on Friday, 9 February 2018. SBI reported net loss of Rs 2416.37 crore in Q3 December 2017 as against net profit of Rs 2610 crore in Q3 December 2016. Total income rose 17.4% to Rs 62887.06 crore in Q3 December 2017 over Q3 December 2016.

In a separate announcement after market hours on Friday, 9 February 2018, SBI said that its Central board approved issuing equity shares of face value of Re 1 each, ranking pari-passu with the existing equity shares of the bank in all respect including payment of dividend, by way of preferential issue to the Government of India (GoI), not exceeding Rs 8800 crore.

Among private sector banks, Yes Bank (up 3.09%), Axis Bank (up 1.27%), IndusInd Bank (up 1.13%), HDFC Bank (up 0.78%) and Kotak Mahindra Bank (up 0.46%) edged higher. ICICI Bank (down 0.23%) edged lower.

IT stocks were mixed. Wipro (up 1.44%), Persistent Systems (up 0.14%) and TCS (up 0.09%) edged higher. HCL Technologies (down 2.05%), Infosys (down 0.61%) and Tech Mahindra (down 0.45%) edged lower.

BPCL fell 1.91% after net profit declined 5.6% to Rs 2143.74 crore on 13.2% rise in net sales to Rs 60616.36 crore in Q3 December 2017 over Q3 December 2016. The result was announced after market hours on Friday, 9 February 2018.

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) was down 0.15%. The company's net profit rose 12.5% to Rs 1215.91 crore on 4.6% rise in net sales to Rs 11577.78 crore in Q3 December 2017 over Q3 December 2016. The results were announced after market hours on Friday, 9 February 2018.

In its outlook, M&M said that a balanced and pro-agrarian budget should help prop farm incomes and stimulate rural consumption demand and further nurture the green shoots of economic recovery. With the effects of some of the recent transient factors fading away and the economy adjusting to GST implementation, growth momentum is likely to stay buoyant. However, rising global crude oil prices and any sudden asset market stall pose key risks to the outlook.

ONGC rose 2.26% after net profit rose 15.2% to Rs 5014.67 crore on 14.9% rise in net sales to Rs 22995.88 crore in Q3 December 2017 over Q3 December 2016. The result was announced after market hours on Friday, 9 February 2018.

In a separate announcement on Saturday, 10 February 2018, ONGC announced that ONGC Videsh-led Indian consortium has been awarded 10% stake in Lower Zakum Concession, Offshore Abu Dhabi. The Indian consortium would contribute a sign-up bonus of $600 million to enter the concession for a 10% stake. The concession has a term of 40 years with an effective date of 9 March 2018.

The present transaction marks entry of ONGC Videsh in highly prospective UAE region and is consistent with its stated strategic objective of adding high quality producing assets to its existing E&P portfolio.

On the macroeconomic data front, the government will announce inflation data based on consumer price index (CPI) for January 2018 after market hours today, 12 February 2018. Consumer prices rose 5.21% in December 2017 over December 2016.

The government will also announce industrial production data for December 2017 after market hours today, 12 February 2018. India's industrial production rose sharply by 8.4% in November 2017 over November 2016.

Overseas, Asian stocks gained after a late-day rally on Wall Street on Friday, 9 February 2018, as investors fretted about the risks from looming US inflation data. Japanese markets are closed today in observance of a public holiday.

Trading in US index futures indicated that the Dow could jump 164 points at the opening bell today, 12 February 2018.

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