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Stocks edge up on cautious optimism before Fed move

Published on Mar 18, 2024 17:32

The domestic equity benchmarks clawed their way back from early losses to close slightly higher on Monday. The Nifty 50 managed to stay above 22,000 despite some weakness in IT, FMCG and consumer durables stocks. Investors seem to be in a wait-and-see mode ahead of the US Federal Reserve`s interest rate decision on Wednesday. While most expect rates to stay on hold, any hints about future cuts could be a market mover. Shares of mid and small companies continued to see selling as investors remain cautious about stretched valuations.

The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex gained 104.99 points or 0.14% to 72,748.42. The Nifty 50 index rose 32.35 or 0.15% to 22,055.70.

M&M (up 3.03%), Tata Motors (up 2.75%) and Reliance Industries (up 1.45%) supported the indices.

In the broader market, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index added 0.04% and the S&P BSE Small-Cap index shed 0.07%.

The market breadth was negative. On the BSE, 1963 shares rose and 1985 shares fell. A total of 108 shares were unchanged.

The NSE`s India VIX, a gauge of market`s expectation of volatility over the near term, rose 1.49% to 13.90.

National Elections:

The Lok Sabha elections in 2024 have been scheduled to be conducted in seven phases, commencing from April 19 and concluding on June 1, as per the announcement by the Election Commission on March 16, 2024. The counting of votes is slated to occur on June 4. Additionally, by-polls for 26 assembly seats across various states will be held alongside the Lok Sabha polls.

Numbers to Track:

The yield on India`s 10-year benchmark federal paper rose 0.35% to 7.086 as compared with the previous close of 7.062.

In the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged lower against the dollar. The partially convertible rupee was hovering at 82.9050, compared with its close of 82.8675 during the previous trading session.

MCX Gold futures for 5 April 2024 settlement shed 0.01% to Rs 65,535.

The US Dollar index (DXY), which tracks the greenback`s value against a basket of currencies was down 0.03% to 103.40.

The United States 10-year bond yield added 0.12% to 4.309.

In the commodities market, Brent crude for May 2024 settlement rose 64 cents or 0.75% to $85.98 a barrel.

Global Markets:

Equity markets in Asia and Europe gained ground on Monday in anticipation of upcoming central bank meetings this week. Investors are looking for signals about the future direction of global interest rates.

The Bank of Japan will announce its rate decision on Tuesday, followed by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday.

China reported better-than-expected figures for retail sales (up 5.5%) and industrial production (up 7%) in the first two months of 2024. The urban unemployment rate remained steady at 5.3% in February.

U.S. equities closed lower on Friday, with technology giants leading the decline. Investors remain cautious ahead of the Fed meeting.

Stocks in Spotlight:

Coforge tumbled 6.90%. The IT company announced that its board has approved a proposal to raise funds upto Rs 3,200 crore through qualified institutional placement (QIP) or any other permissible mode as per applicable laws.

The Anup Engineering soared 15.6% after the company announced that its board will consider bonus share issue on Wednesday, 20 March 2024. Meanwhile, the company has entered into a definitive share purchase agreement to acquire 100% equity shares of Mabel Engineering (Mabel), for a cash consideration of Rs 33 crore.

Zydus Lifesciences rose 0.68%. The company announced that it has received final approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) to market Finasteride and Tadalafil capsules USP.

ITC fell 0.51% and International Travel House rose 0.11%. ITC has entered into a share purchase agreement with its wholly owned subsidiary, Russell Credit, for acquisition of 36,26,633 equity shares of Rs 10 each of International Travel House (ITHL), a listed associate company, representing 45.36% of ITHL�s share capital, and 90,000 equity shares of Rs 100 each of Maharaja Heritage Resorts (MHRL), an unlisted joint venture company, representing 25% of MHRL�s share capital.

Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL) advanced 0.72% after the Ministry of Defence signed a contract with the company for Mid Life Upgrade (MLU) of 25 Dornier Aircraft along with associated equipment for the Indian Navy at a cost of Rs 2,890 crore.

Gensol Engineering hit an upper limit of 5% after the company has successfully completed 160 megawatt (MW) ground-mounted solar projects for Continuum Green Energy in Bhavnagar, Gujarat.

Torrent Power gained 2.44% after receiving letter of award from the company�s distribution unit for setting up of 300 MW (RE Power) grid-connected wind solar hybrid projects.

Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care jumped 4.02% after the company�s board has approved the appointment of Kumar Venkatasubramanian as managing director (MD) for a period of 5 years with effect from 1 May 2024.

KPI Green Energy hit an upper limit of 5% after it emerged as the successful bidder in the Maharashtra State Power Generation Co. (MAHAGENCO) tender for development of 100MW solar power project.

J.Kumar Infraprojects added 0.09% after the company said that it has received a letter of award (LoA) for a Delhi-based project worth Rs 334.25 crore from NBCC (India).

Housing & Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) slipped 4.06%. The company said that the board will meet on Wednesday, 20 March 2024, to consider a proposal to raise funds and also to increase the overall borrowing limit.

IPO Update:

The initial public offer (IPO) of Krystal Integrated Services received 3,96,26,200 bids for shares as against 29,99,448 shares on offer, according to stock exchange data at 17:00 IST on Monday (18 March 2024). The issue was subscribed 13.21 times.

The issue opened for bidding on Thursday (14 March 2024) and it will close on Monday (18 March 2024). The price band of the IPO is fixed at Rs 680 to 715 per share. An investor can bid for a minimum of 20 equity shares and in multiples thereof.

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