The stock markets opened on a positive note on Friday (October 20). The benchmark indices both opened high at the opening bell. The Sensex was up 122.14 points or 0.20 percent at 61045.64. The Nifty added 57.20 points or 0.31 percent at 18235.30. The Bank Nifty was above 40,200.
HDFC was the major gainer followed by Titan, Powergrid, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank. Among losers in early trade were Asian Paints, Infosys, HCL Tech, NTPC, and Tata Steel among others.
US stocks up
Global stock indexes mostly climbed and the S&P 500 posted a record closing high on Thursday, helped by gains in consumer discretionary and technology shares, while US Treasury yields jumped.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 6.26 points, or 0.02 percent, to 35,603.08, the S&P 500 gained 13.59 points, or 0.30 percent, to 4,549.78 and the Nasdaq Composite added 94.02 points, or 0.62 percent, to 15,215.70.
A good start to third-quarter earnings season has helped investors put the nervousness of September behind them, even as concerns over inflation, COVID-19 and China’s economy still linger. Of the approximately 70 S&P 500 companies that have reported results so far, 86 percent posted earnings that topped analysts expectations, according to Refinitiv.
The US economy still is growing at a solid pace, the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book noted Wednesday, but labor shortages and supply-chain bottlenecks are restraining growth and triggering higher inflation.
China's thermal coal futures fell by their trading limit for the third evening session in a row on Thursday, extending losses triggered by signs Beijing may intervene to cool surging prices and ease a widespread power crunch.
Asian markets steady
Asia-Pacific markets mostly rose in Friday morning trade, as shares of China Evergrande Group surged in Hong Kong following media reports that the embattled developer is set to pay off a coupon payment on a dollar-denominated bond.
The Nikkei 225 rose 0.82 percent while the Topix index gained 0.52 percent. South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.05 percent. China Evergrande Group wired funds to a trustee account on Thursday for a dollar bond interest payment due September 23, a source told Reuters on Friday, days before a deadline that would have plunged the embattled developer into formal default.
The source corroborated a story in the state-backed Securities Times on Friday that the company had remitted $83.5 million in coupon payments to a trustee account at Citibank on Thursday, allowing it to pay out to all bond holders before the grace period expires on October 23.
Aramco Chairman on Reliance board
Shareholders of Reliance Industries have approved the appointment of Saudi Aramco Chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan on the company board, with less than 2 percent of votes cast against the proposal.
Disclosing theresults of shareholder votes on the appointment, Reliance in a regulatory filing said 98.03 per cent of votes were cast in favour of the resolution to appoint Al-Rumayyan for three years. As many as 10.89 crore shares or 1.96 percent voted against the resolution, while 3.23 crore votes were declared invalid due to lack of proper authorisation, it said.
Economy looks nearly out of pandemic woods
With half of the 15 high-frequency indicators recovering to the pre-pandemic levels in the second quarter, the economy finally looks nearly out of the pandemic woods, helping the Q2 GDP print at 7.7 per cent, according to a report. However, the September print was not as good as the quarter, indicating that the recovery remains uneven, it added.
While continued base normalisation, emerging supply-side constraints and excess rainfall have dampened the year-on performance of most of the 15 high-frequency indicators in September, the economic recovery has widened in Q2 as the crisis wrought by the second wave has abated, with a larger number of sectors bettering their pre-pandemic performance, relative to Q1, Icra Rating chief economist Aditi Nayar said in a note on Thursday.
Americans applying for unemployment benefits decline
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to a new low point since the pandemic erupted, evidence that layoffs are declining as companies hold onto workers.
Unemployment claims dropped 6,000 to 290,000 last week, the third straight drop, the Labor Department said Thursday. That’s the fewest people to apply for benefits since March 14, 2020, when the pandemic intensified.
Applications for jobless aid, which generally track the pace of layoffs, have fallen steadily from about 900,000 in January.
Company results today
Reliance Industries, HDFC Life Insurance Company, Yes Bank, Apollo Pipes, Bharat Seats, Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals, Dodla Dairy, Federal Bank, Gland Pharma, Hindustan Zinc, Inox Leisure, Jubilant Pharmova, Kajaria Ceramics, Kirloskar Ferrous Industries, Kwality Pharmaceuticals, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India, Omkar Speciality Chemicals, Polycab India, ABB Power Products and Systems India, PVR, Steel Strips Wheels, Subros, Sundaram-Clayton, Supreme Industries, Tata Consumer Products, Tata Elxsi, and Zenotech Laboratories will release September quarter earnings on October 22.
Stock under F&O ban
Ten stocks - Amara Raja Batteries, Escorts, Vodafone Idea, IRCTC, L&T Finance Holdings, NALCO, Punjab National Bank, SAIL, Sun TV Network and Tata Power - are under the F&O ban today.
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)