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Sensex Cracks 1,000 Points as IT & Metal Stocks Bleed; ITC Jumps 4% Post Q4 Results
Thu, 19 May 10:30 am

Sensex Cracks 1,000 Points as IT & Metal Stocks Bleed; ITC Jumps 4% Post Q4 Results

Asian share markets are deep in the red, tracking a steep Wall Street selloff, as investors fretted over rising global inflation, China's zero-Covid policy and the Russia-Ukraine war.

The Nikkei is down 1.9% while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.2%. The Hang Seng plunged over 3%.

In US stock markets, Wall Street indices ended sharply lower on Wednesday, with Target losing around a quarter of its stock market value and highlighting worries about the US economy after the retailer became the latest victim of surging prices.

The Dow Jones plunged 3.6% while the Nasdaq slumped 4.7%. It was the worst one-day loss for the S&P 500 index and the Dow Jones since June 2020.

Back home, Indian share markets are trading deep in the red.

Benchmark indices staged a gap-down opening today tracking the US market's worst intra-day fall in two years.

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Market participants are tracking shares of Godrej Consumer, Dr Reddy's Lab and HPCL as these companies will announce their March quarter results later today.

At present, the BSE Sensex is trading down by 979 points. Meanwhile, the NSE Nifty is trading lower by 294 points.

ITC is among the top gainers today. Tech Mahindra and Infosys, on the other hand, are among the top losers today.

The BSE Mid Cap index is trading down by 1.7%. The BSE Small Cap index is trading lower by 1.5%.

All sectoral indices are trading in red with stocks in the IT sector, metal sector and finance sector witnessing most of the selling.

Shares of ITC and MRPL hit their 52-week high. ITC's results beat estimates as it reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 42 bn, which is 11.7% higher YoY.

Meanwhile, Indiabulls Housing Finance share price fell over 3%.

The rupee is trading at 77.65 against the US$.

Gold prices are trading down by 0.1% at Rs 50,160 per 10 grams.

Crude oil prices rose today, recovering from early losses, as lingering fears over tight global supplies outweighed fears over slower economic growth as highlighted by slumping global shares.

Speaking of stock markets, Chartist Brijesh Bhatia discusses whether you should take a close look at Asian Paints, in his latest video for Fast Profits Daily.

Crude oil prices have remained high above US$100. This has increased input prices for paint companies.

So, is Asian Paints, the leader in the category, buy at current levels? Brijesh answers this in the below video.

Tune in to find out more:

In latest developments from the IPO space, Paradeep Phosphates' initial public offering (IPO) was subscribed 51% on Wednesday. The IPO closes today for subscription.

The retail investor portion was subscribed 91%, high-networth individual (HNI) portion was covered 20% and institutional investor category received negligible bids.

Paradeep Phosphates is India's second-largest private sector manufacturer of phosphatic fertilizers.

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In other news, luxury watch retailer Ethos' IPO was subscribed 27% on Wednesday, the first day of the issue.

Ethos IPO comprises fresh fund raise of Rs 3.8 bn and an offer for sale of Rs 1 bn.

For a detailed update, read out editorial on the IPO here: Ethos IPO: 5 Things to Know.

Coming to developments from the mutual funds space, Axis Mutual Fund has sacked its chief dealer Viresh Joshi, who was being investigated for irregularities.

A statement from the fund house read,

  • Axis AMC has been conducting a suo moto internal investigation since February 2022, using reputed external advisors to assist with this ongoing investigation.

    Further to our investigation, his conduct and following the decision to suspend him, the employment of Mr. Viresh Joshi has been terminated with effect from 18 May 2022.

Note that ever since the front-running charges have emerged, Axis Mutual Fund had to rejig fund management of seven schemes.

Earlier, Axis AMC suspended the two fund managers following the allegations of front-running.

Axis AMC is India's seventh-largest asset manager with Rs 2.5 tn in assets.

We will keep you updated on the latest developments from this space. Stay tuned.

Speaking of mutual funds, have a look at the chart below which shows the inflows into mutual fund equity investments for the past couple of months.

April 2022 was the 14th straight month of inflows.

This just shows that despite the hawkish US Fed stance, rising inflation, crude oil concerns and the Russia-Ukraine war, retail investors' confidence in the India growth story remains intact.

Moving on, the Union Cabinet yesterday approved advancing the target of blending 20% ethanol in petrol by 5 years to 2025-26 as well as allowing more feedstocks for the production of biofuels in a bid to cut reliance on imported oil.

Currently, about 10% of ethanol is blended in petrol.

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This development bodes well for India, which depends on imports for meeting 85% of its oil needs.

According to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), India is set to become the third-largest market for ethanol in the world after the US and Brazil by 2026.

This comes as no surprise as ethanol demand in India tripled to an estimated 3 bn litres between 2017 and 2021.

Ethanol stocks in India have also inched higher in the past year as demand for ethanol is expected to continue going forward.

Moving on to stock specific news...

ONGC share price is among the top buzzing stocks today.

ONGC is weighing the options of placing more bids for Western companies' stakes in multiple Russian oil and gas fields even as its first bid for Shell's 50% stake in Salym fields in Siberia has not been accepted.

According to reports, the company is evaluating the option to bid for Shell's 27.5% interest in the Sakhalin-II oil and gas project and ExxonMobil's 30% stake in the Sakhalin-I project.

Why is ONGC doing this? It could be looking to acquire energy assets cheap as western oil companies exit Russia in the wake of the Ukraine invasion.

These bids are still being discussed and have not yet been considered by the board of the company.

ONGC, BPCL, IOC and Oil India have also held preliminary discussions among themselves to evaluate buying BP's 20% stake in Russian energy giant Rosneft.

Western oil companies BP, Shell, and ExxonMobil announced their intention to exit the Russian oil and gas sector soon after its forces invaded Ukraine.

India continues to buy oil from Russia and hopes to lock in some good upstream assets at a cheaper rate as Western companies offload investments.

We will keep you updated on the latest developments from this space. Stay tuned.

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

For information on how to pick stocks that have the potential to deliver big returns, download our special report now!

Read the latest Market Commentary

What else is happening in the markets today? Dig in...

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