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Insurance Stocks Tumble on Fears of Higher Tax; ECB Minutes in Focus; & Other Top Cues in Action Today
Fri, 24 Nov Pre-Open | Rini Mehta, TM Team

On Thursday, Indian share markets ended flat with the Nifty settling below 10,350 as the market consolidated in want of fresh triggers after the September quarter earnings season wound down. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex closed higher by 27 points and the NSE Nifty finished higher by 6 points.

BHEL, Infosys and Sun Pharma were the top gainers on both indices, while Dr. Reddy's Lab, Bajaj Auto and Adani Ports were the top losers.

Top Cues in Action Today

Cadila Healthcare share price will be in focus today after its subsidiary Zydus Cadila received approval from the US health regulator to market Tadalafil tablets, used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction, in the American market.

Indian Bank share price will hog limelight today after it received approval to raise capital by way of issue of equity shares pursuant to a Qualified Institutional Placement (QIP) subject to the receipt of the approval from Government of India on 20 November 2017.

Monsanto India Ltd reported a loss of Rs 63.9 million in the quarter ended 30 September, compared to a profit of Rs 27.9 million in the same quarter last year. Revenue from operations stood at Rs 960 million, down from Rs 1020 million a year ago.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has entered into partnership with Eastern Communications for OSS/BSS transformation. Eastern Communications chose TCS as strategic partner to replace its B2B segment offerings.

Welspun Corp. Ltd received a contract to provide 392K MTs pipes for a water project in MENA region.

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Global Stock Market Drivers

Overseas, Chinese shares tumbled with the blue-chip index suffering its worst fall in nearly 1-1/2 years as worries about a sell-off in the bond market bled into equities.

Asian stock markets ended mostly lower on Thursday with the overnight flat close on Wall Street and the likelihood of a rate hike in the US in the foreseeable future prompting investors to tread cautiously.

Meanwhile, European stocks took their cue from a slide in Chinese equities, heading lower in a trading day likely to be thin on volumes because of the US Thanksgiving holiday. The dollar steadied after tumbling on Wednesday in the wake of more dovish than expected Federal Reserve minutes.

Here are some key events scheduled for the remainder of the week:

  • Minutes from the ECB's October meeting due, which could show dissent in the discussion about tapering.
  • New Zealand October trade and South Korea November consumer confidence are due today.
  • South Africa's central bank will announce its key lending rate.

Bulk & Block Deals

On Thursday, IT stocks were among the major gainers, with Infosys Ltd rising as much as 2.9%. Over half a million Infosys shares changed hands in block deals on the NSE.

Our team of Equitymaster analysts have been working on a project to track the smartest minds in value investing. They have compiled a special report on them, called The Superinvestors of India.

Now, because of insights from these interactions, the team has glued their eyes on insider activity and bulk and block deals...

As per them...

Insurance Stocks Tumble

Insurance stocks took a beating on Thursday after the Finance Ministry formed a task force to study and submit a report on redrafting of the direct tax code within six months.

HDFC Standard Life Insurance share price dropped 5%, while ICICI Prudential Life Insurance share price slipped 3.6%, SBI Life Insurance share price 2.7% and ICICI Lombard General Insurance share price 1%.

Insurance actuaries are currently building in tax rate of 14.3%. The increase in tax rate will have one-time impact on EV (embedded value) and going forward lower NBAP margins. NBAP is new business achieved profit.

Our big-picture editor, Vivek Kaul, recently penned a pertinent report on entire insurance industry. We strongly recommend you go through the full report on what's really happening in the insurance industry in India...and how it affects you. If you have not accessed Vivek Kaul's Letter yet, sign up here.

By the way, we have also prepared a guide to help you understand the valuation of insurance businesses.

Oil Prices Ease

Oil prices eased on Thursday, with US crude falling away from two-year highs reached the day before, but the shutdown of the Keystone pipeline and a drawdown in fuel inventories continued to bolster markets despite worries over rising output.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at US$57.89 a barrel down 0.2%, from their last settlement, but still close to 2015-highs of US$58.15 a barrel reached on Wednesday. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at US$63.14 per barrel, 0.3%, below their last close.

To keep a tab on the movements in crude oil and other commodities, you can read the stock market commentary from the Daily Profit Hunter team. Their commentary tracks the developments in the global economy as well as stock, currency and commodity markets.

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

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Nov 24, 2017 09:23 AM