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Stock market indices open higher: Sensex above 61,400, Nifty crosses 18,300-mark

FPJ Web Desk | Updated on: Tuesday, January 18, 2022, 09:28 AM IST

Tech Mahindra (+1.25 percent) was the top Nifty gainers following new acquisitions.  | File photo
Tech Mahindra (+1.25 percent) was the top Nifty gainers following new acquisitions. | File photo
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The stock market indices opened higher on January 18. At the opening bell, the benchmark Sensex opened abover the 61,000 mark. It was up 121.86 points or 0.20 percent at 61,430.80. The broader Nifty was 29.10 points or 0.16 percent up at 18,337.20. Nifty Bank was up 121.35 points or 0.32 percent at 38,337.40. About 1,555 shares have advanced, 472 shares declined, and 105 shares are unchanged.

Tech Mahindra (+1.25 percent) was the top Nifty gainers following new acquisitions. Other gainers included, ONGC, Hindalco, BPCL and Bajaj Finance were among early gainers. UltraTech Cement, Maruti Suzuki, Eicher Motors, UPL and HDFC were among early losers at the opening bell.

Nifty rose for the sixth out of the past seven sessions on Jan 17. At close, Nifty was up 0.29 percent or 52.3 points at 18308.1.

Nifty has risen after a day of pause and the advance decline ratio also remains healthy. However the day on day gain as well as the intra day range remains small. 18164-18342 seems to be the range for the Nifty in the near term.

Gold trades mixed

COMEX gold trades mixed near $1820/oz holding on to recent gains. Gold remains supported by weaker US dollar, rising virus concerns, increasing inflationary pressure, geopolitical tensions relating to Russia and Middle-east, China’s monetary easing, and mixed economic data from major economies, said Ravindra Rao, CMT, EPAT, VP- Head Commodity Research at Kotak Securities. However, weighing on price are higher US bond yields which have jumped to a 2-year high. ETF flows also show a lack of investor participation. Gold may remain within the recent $1780-1830/oz range but we may see selling pressure at higher levels if yields continue to rise.

Crude mixed

NYMEX crude trades mixed near $84/bbl and have tested the highest level since November. Crude trades are higher supported by increased tensions relating to Russia and Middle-east, weakness in the US dollar, stability inequities and China’s monetary easing measures, and severe cold weather in the US. However, weighing on price is improving supply from Libya and Kazakhstan, rise in US crude oil rig count to April 2020 highs and rising virus cases, and mixed US economic data. Crude has continued to set fresh highs indicating strong momentum however with mixed factors in place and position squaring near expiry some correction is possible.

Petrol, diesel prices unchanged

Fuel prices were unchanged in the country on Tuesday. Last month, the Delhi government had reduced the value-added tax on petrol from 30 per cent to 19.40 per cent. With this, petrol prices in the national capital were slashed by Rs 8.56 per litre.

Accordingly, a litre of petrol costs Rs 95.41 in Delhi, while diesel rates stand at Rs 86.67 per litre. In Mumbai, petrol is retailed at Rs 109.98 per litre, while diesel is being sold at Rs 94.14 per litre. Among the metro cities, fuel rates are still the highest in Mumbai. Fuel prices vary across the states due to value-added tax or VAT.

Diesel and petrol prices also remained static in Kolkata at Rs 89.79 and Rs 104.67. In Chennai too, they remained unchanged at Rs 91.43 and Rs 101.40.

Stocks to watch out for

Market might be volatile as Bajaj Finance, L&T Technology Services, ICICI Securities, Den Networks, EKI Energy Services, Just Dial, Jyoti Structures, Network18 Media & Investments, Shakti Pumps (India),TV18 Broadcast and some others will release quarterly earnings on January 18 said Mohit Nigam, Head - PMS, Hem Securities.

Asian shares trade high

Asia's share markets were mostly higher on Tuesday even as global investor attention remains fixed on the prospect of US interest rate hikes in the next few months, after two years of unprecedented pandemic-induced policy easing. Bank of Japan is scheduled to meet today for deliberating on interest rates.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.4% percent, after the U.S market was closed overnight for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. The index is up 1.1 percent so far this month. Australian shares were up 0.29 percent, while in China the blue chip CSI300 Index rose 0.33 percent in early trading.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up by 0.61percent. Japan's Nikkei stock index was trading 0.63percent higher ahead of the Bank of Japan's decision due between 0230-0500 GMT.

The prospect of higher US rates was also playing out in fixed income markets on Tuesday, following the US market closure on Monday. In Asian cash market trading on Tuesday, two-year yields rose above 1 percent for the first time since February 2020.

Global stocks move higher on Monday

Global stocks moved higher Monday in what was a quiet trading session, with US markets closed in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.

European shares recovered from Friday's losses on Monday supported by action from the Chinese central bank to support a slowing economy and as investors focused on company earnings and US Federal Reserve policymakers entered a quiet period ahead of their meeting next week. The US Federal Reserve meets on Jan. 25-26 and investors expect a cycle of rate hikes to begin in March.

US Fed to meet on January 25-26

US Federal Reserve is due to meet January 25-26 and while it is not expected to shift rates then, a growing number of investors think March will be the start of a tightening cycle, Reuters said. Rate rises are generally seen as negative for riskier assets such as equities.

Sebi overhauls preferential allotment rules

Capital markets regulator Sebi has relaxed pricing norms and lock-in requirements to make it easier for companies to raise funds through preferential allotment of shares. Also, the regulator has allowed pledging of shares allotted to promoter or promoter group under preferential issue during the lock-in period, according to a notification.

In addition, Sebi has said any preferential issue resulting in a change in control or allotment of more than a 5 percent stake will require a valuation report from a registered valuer.

Moreover, any preferential issue allotment resulting in a change in control will be required to provide a reasoned recommendation from a committee of independent directors along with their comments on all aspects of preferential issuance, including pricing.

Economic activity remains strong despite third wave: RBI

India's overall economic activity remains strong despite facing headwinds from a rapid surge in Omicron infections, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in its bulletin.

"Nonetheless, amidst upbeat consumer and business confidence and an uptick in bank credit, aggregate demand conditions stay resilient, while on the supply front, rabi sowing has exceeded last year’s level and the normal acreage.," RBI said.

Results today

Bajaj Finance, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company, L&T Technology Services, ICICI Securities, Tata Elxsi, Anup Engineering, DCM Shriram, Den Networks, EKI Energy Services, Just Dial, Jyoti Structures, Network18 Media & Investments, Newgen Software Technologies, Ramkrishna Forgings, Shree Ganesh Remedies, Shakti Pumps (India), Star Housing Finance, Trident, and TV18 Broadcast.

Stocks under F&O ban

Five stocks – Escorts, Granules India, Indiabulls Housing Finance, Vodafone Idea, and SAIL – are under the F&O ban on the NSE today.

(With inputs from Reuters and agencies)

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Published on: Tuesday, January 18, 2022, 09:25 AM IST