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Sensex Ends 244 Points Lower, Nifty Ends Below 14,300; UltraTech Cement & HCL Tech Top Losers
Tue, 20 Apr Closing | Yash Vora, TM Team

Indian share markets witnessed volatile trading activity throughout the day today and ended lower.

Benchmark indices erased gains in afternoon deals and turned negative after economically important state of Maharashtra announced stricter Covid-19 curbs, despite the center's move to extend its vaccine-for-all drive to vaccinate all adults irrespective of age group.

At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood lower by 244 points (down 0.5%).

Meanwhile, the NSE Nifty closed lower by 63 points (down 0.4%).

Dr Reddy's Labs and Bajaj Finserv were among the top gainers today.

UltraTech Cement and HCL Technologies, on the other hand, were among the top losers today.

The SGX Nifty was trading at 14,292, down by 97 points, at the time of writing.

Both, the BSE Mid Cap index and the BSE Small Cap index ended up by 0.5%.

On the sectoral front, IT stocks and FMCG stocks were among the hardest hit.

Shares of Cadila Healthcare and Jindal Steel & Power hit their respective 52-week highs today.

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Asian stock markets ended on a mixed note today.

The Shanghai Composite ended lower by 0.1%, while the Hang Seng ended higher by 0.1%. The Nikkei ended lower by 2%.

US stock futures are trading on a negative note today with the Dow Futures trading down by 54 points.

The rupee is trading at 74.88 against the US$.

Gold prices for the latest contract on MCX are trading down by 0.2% today at Rs 47,283 per 10 grams.

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In news from the insurance sector...

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance was among the top buzzing stocks today.

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Q4 Consolidated Net Profit Declined by 65%

On 19 April 2021, insurance major ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company reported 65% decrease in consolidated net profit at Rs 630 million for the quarter ending 31 March 2021. It was Rs 1.8 billion in the year-ago period.

In a statement, the company said that the value of new business for the fourth quarter of 2020-21 grew by 26% and stood at Rs 5.9 billion. This resulted in value of new business (VNB) of Rs 16.2 billion for FY21 with an expansion in VNB margin from 21.7% in FY20 to 25.1% in the last fiscal year.

VNB is the present value of expected future earnings from new policies written during a specified period and it reflects the additional value to shareholders expected to be generated through the activity of writing new policies during a specified period.

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In Q4FY21, its net premium income increased by 13.4% to Rs 118.8 billion against Rs 104.8 billion in the corresponding quarter in the previous fiscal.

For the full year 2020-21, its net profit fell by 10.2% to Rs 9.6 billion against Rs 10.7 billion in FY20.

The company's MD and CEO, N S Kannan said that despite the disruptions caused by Covid-19, they were able to demonstrate resilience in their operations. In this quarter, Annualized Premium Equivalent (APE) grew by 27% year-on-year (YoY) with the month of March posting the best ever monthly sales for the Company in any year since inception.

Note that APE grew 27% YoY in Q4FY21 to Rs 25.1 billion.

APE is the sum of annualized first year premiums on regular premium policies and 10% of single premiums, written by the Company during any period from new retail and group customers.

The embedded value grew by 26% and stood at Rs 29.1 billion as on 31 March 2021. The Return on embedded value was 15.2% for FY21.

The Board has approved a final dividend of Rs 2 per equity share for FY21.

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance share price ended the day up by 6% on the BSE.

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Moving on to news from the IT sector...

HCL Technologies signed a multi-million-dollar contract with Japan-based UD Trucks for digital services.

On 19 April 2021, IT service major HCL Technologies announced that it has signed a digital transformation and hybrid cloud contract with UD Trucks, a leading Japanese commercial vehicle solutions provider.

HCL will deliver end-to-end IT transformation spanning across digital platforms, agile digital application development, migration, support and maintenance and digital workplace services. With this new partnership, HCL will further accelerate UD Trucks' digital transformation journey.

Recent changes in its operational structure have required UD Trucks to build and migrate to its own dedicated IT environment, while at the same time ensuring service continuity.

HCL was selected due to its extensive capabilities in managing both legacy and next-generation technologies, best-in-class IT transformation frameworks, dynamic cybersecurity services and deep domain expertise from working with other major automotive brands.

By moving to a new next-generation IT environment, UD Trucks aims at leveraging the power of cloud and IoT while providing its employees globally with an enhanced user experience.

The financial terms of the contract were not revealed.

HCL Technologies share price ended the day down by 3.4% on the BSE.

To know what's moving the Indian stock markets today, check out the most recent share market updates here.

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