Tech stocks help Sensex eke out gains; Nifty rises for 3rd week

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Equity benchmarks managed to eke out modest gains amid consolidation on Friday, supported by technology stocks and positive global cues. Investors awaited December industrial output data due later today and corporate earnings.

For second consecutive session, the 50-share NSE Nifty surpassed 8800-mark in early trade but failed to sustain that level. The index closed at 8793.55, up 15.15 points from its previous close while the 30-share BSE was up 4.55 points at 28334.25.

Current consolidation phase indicated that the market seems to have priced in current earnings season that, so far, has been good. Even it appeared that the worst effects of Demonetisation were over, experts say.

Jayant Manglik of Religare Securities feels this consolidated phase will soon be over and Nifty will march toward its record high.

“So, use any decline in index to create fresh longs rather taking any contrarian trade. Amidst all, there will be no shortage of opportunities on stock specific front,” he says.

UR Bhat of Dalton Capital, however, says only US President Donald Trump’s policies pose a huge risk for the market.

The market closed higher for third consecutive week on stable earnings and Union Budget. The Sensex was up 0.3 percent and the Nifty gained 0.6 percent during the week while the Nifty Midcap outperformed, up 1.2 percent.

State Bank of India shares closed off day’s high on profit booking after better-than-expected earnings. Profit in Q3 grew by 134 percent on low base YoY, other income (including profit on stake sale of SBI Life) and operating profit. Slippages at Rs 10,185 crore were tad lower compared to previous quarter.

Nifty Bank index gained 0.3 percent as Bank of Baroda rallied 2 percent ahead of third quarter earnings due later today. HDFC Bank and Axis Bank also gained 0.7 percent each while ICICI Bank fell 1.2 percent.

Mahindra & Mahindra lost 1 percent after a 6 percent year-on-year fall in profit as demonetisation hit automotive segment but operational performance was ahead of estimates due to tractor business.

Technology stocks rallied for second consecutive session, with the Nifty IT index up 2 percent. TCS rallied 3 percent and Infosys was up 2.1 percent.

Tech Mahindra climbed 3 percent (in addition to 2 percent upside in previous session) after a weightage increased in the MSCI India index.

Grasim Industries was biggest gainer among Nifty stocks, up 4 percent on inclusion into the MSCI Emerging Market index and hike in FIIs holding to 49 percent.

Aurobindo Pharma shares fell 4 percent, spooked by weak management commentary after Q3 earnings. Company sees a hyper competitive scenario in the US and says price pressure in US is expected in the first six months of the year.

SAIL shed 6 percent after the company reported a net loss for the seventh straight quarter. Also on the losing side was Triveni Engineering, down nearly 10 percent after the management called off the demerger of the engineering business and shrugged off strong earnings.

Adani Ports, Tata Steel and NTPC were up 1-2 percent whereas ITC, Lupin, Asian Paints and Dr Reddy’s Labs were down 1-2 percent.

European markets were higher as investors tracked earnings and looked ahead to the meeting between President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Asian markets closed higher, following a boost in US equities on the back of President Donald Trump saying he would soon announce a “phenomenal” tax plan.