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Sensex Finishes on a Flat Note; Cigarette Stocks Rally
Fri, 17 Mar Closing

Share markets in India continued to trade marginally higher in the afternoon session amid mixed global indices. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 63 points, while the NSE Nifty finished up by 6 points.

Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Mid Cap finished down by 0.1% & the S&P BSE Small Cap finished flat. Gains were largely seen in FMCG stocks & realty stocks. While, capital goods stocks and bank stocks witnessed majority of the selling activity.

The US Fed raised interest rates by 25 bps from 0.75% to 1%. This is the second hike in last three months. This move is on the back of steady economic growth, strong job gains and confidence that inflation is rising to the central bank's target.

Stock Markets and Gold Rally, Dollar Tumbles

However, markets are reacting surprisingly to the fed's decision. Stock markets across the world extended gains. The chart highlights the performance of several stock markets, gold and dollar index. The chart indicates the performance of market indices from 14 December 2016 and 15 March 2017. This is the period between two consecutive fed rate hikes.

ITC share price finished up by 5% after the GST Council on Thursday cleared a proposal to cap the cess on tobacco and cigarettes. The cess levied, in the case of cigarettes and chewing tobacco, could be either 290% or Rs 4,170 per thousand sticks or a combination of both. These cess rates are an enabling provision and the actual tax incidence could be lower, depending on the decision of the GST council.

Other cigarette companies too were trading higher. VST Industries Ltd share price jumped 7.6%, while Godfrey Phillips India share price jumped 1.2%.

Asian stock markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Hang Seng gained 0.09%, while the Shanghai Composite & the Nikkei 225 fell 0.96% and 0.35% respectively. European markets are mixed. The CAC 40 is higher by 0.20%, while the DAX is leading the FTSE 100 lower. They are down 0.15% and 0.05% respectively.

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The rupee was trading at Rs 65.54 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 49.40 at the time of writing.

Wipro share price finished the trading day on an encouraging note (up 0.9%) after it was reported that the company has entered into partnership with Harte Hanks to offer marketing technology services.

As part of the multi-year engagement, Wipro will upgrade Harte Hank's data analytics and applications platform, create a scalable operating model and simplify IT related processes for the company. Additionally, the two companies will jointly go-to-market with marketing technology services aimed at the needs of Chief Marketing Officers.

Meanwhile, Wipro has also been awarded a 12-year contract from National Health Board (NHS) Scotland to develop an enterprise master patient index (eMPI) solution. As a strategic technology enabler, Wipro offers ways to improve patient outcomes, expand access and enhance patient experience.

Wipro also recently announced opening an automotive engineering center at Detroit in the US to drive innovation in connected vehicles concepts. The facility is a part of company's vision to build a global network of delivery centers that offer engineering and IT services, augmented by automotive domain and digital solutions.

In another development, Tech Mahindra and Huawei Enterprise Business Group (EBG) have signed a global partnership agreement. Basis this agreement, Tech Mahindra will market Huawei's enterprise products and services across 44 countries including India.

The alliance would also involve launching a joint go-to-market (GTM) strategy, thus giving a boost to the competitiveness of both companies in the global marketplace, by leveraging each other's core strengths.

The partnership will help Tech Mahindra to be more competitive and gain access to newer enterprise markets in geographies like Europe, LatAm, Africa, India, Middle East and South East Asia while enabling it to provide maximum value to the clients.

Tech Mahindra share price finished the day up by 0.3% on the BSE.

Moving on to news from stocks in automobile sector. According to a leading financial daily, Russia is open to localizing component production of its modern Sukhoi super jet even as it is having talk with Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd for partnership for the MC-21 civil aviation aircraft.

Reportedly, Russia is open to both exporting it to the Indian market as well as localising some of the components production. The scope of work for aerospace unit of M&M includes manufacturing some components and producing the interiors for the aircraft.

Meanwhile, M&M's expenditure on research and development (R&D) has grown nearly 26 times, while its revenue rose by more than 10 times from 2003-2016. During 2002, M&M invested 1% of its revenue in R&D and it increased to 4.5% during 2016. Last year, M&M clocked revenue of Rs 408.9 billion.

On Indian R&D scenario, "Make in India" is incomplete without technology from India, that is what Society of Automotive Engineers India and FISITA, is trying to do by bringing technologies to, the company stated.

Further, India clearly moved and made great progress in the automotive industry. As a producer, as a consumer and as a market size with kind of technologies coming into the vehicles. In short period of 15 years, India has moved from being around 13-14 to 5th or 6th in the world, the reports noted.

M&M share price finished down by 1.4%.

Telecom stocks languished in red in today's trade with Idea Cellular and Bharti Airtel leading the losses. Bharti Airtel share price plunged 3.8% in today's trade after its shareholders approved a proposal to raise up to Rs 100 billion in debt. The news also come at a time when the company scrapped plans to sell a controlling stake in its tower unit Bharti Infratel for now and instead decided to sell 21.63% share in the company.

And here's a note from Profit Hunter:

In an earlier note, we mentioned ITC Ltd breaking out of its four-year range of 190-270. After the breakout, the stock rallied to hit an all-time high of Rs 292 supported by healthy volumes. The stock corrected more than 11% after the 'shooting star candlestick pattern', indicating an exhaustion of the uptrend.

The stock then rallied to trade above the range resistance of Rs 270 after finding support from 50-day exponential moving average (EMA).

Today, the stock opened gap up and rallied strongly to re-test the life high of Rs 292, but failed to do so. The stock is forming a similar structure as it did on 7 February 2016 - a shooting star candle with heavy volumes.

Will the stock again drag down as it in February, or is the four-year range breakout is for real this time.

If it is, a huge trend is underway. And to capture these huge trends, Apurva Sheth, research analyst, has launched a new trading service, Peak Profit Alert. This service is built on a proprietary trading system called SCOREFASTTM, which Apurva intends to use to generate double and triple-digit returns in just a few weeks or months.

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ITC Re-test Life-high
ITC Re-test Life-high

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Jan 19, 2018 (Close)