Markets may open higher; SBI, M&M, Cipla in focus

Markets are likely to open in the positive territory tracking strength in the global markets. However, sluggish macroeconomic data coupled with quarterly results posted by some of the blue chip companies including Hindalco, BHEL and Cipla are likely to dictate the trend on the bourses.

Despite India’s economic growth receiving a major boost after a revision in the definition of gross domestic product (GDP) and the base year for calculating it, concern about industrial production continues, going by official data released on Thursday. Adding to worries, Consumer Price Index (CPI)-based inflation rose in January compared to December, another set of data showed.

Industrial growth slowed to 1.7 per cent in December from 3.9 per cent in November, owing to low consumer durable goods and mining output, while CPI inflation rose to 5.11 per cent in January from 4.28 per cent in December. The Reserve Bank of India has set a target of restricting inflation to eight per cent by January 2015 and six per cent in January 2016.

GLOBAL MARKET

Asian shares gained on Friday on news of a ceasefire accord in Ukraine, while Sweden's surprise move to cut its main rate into negative territory and hopes of a resolution between debt-strapped Greece and its creditors burnished risk appetite.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rose 0.8 percent. Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.2 percent but the broader Topix tacked on 0.1 percent.

The gains came after gains in Europe and Wall Street, with the pan-European stock index hitting a seven-year high and the S&P 500 coming within striking distance of a record high.

The early indicator SGX Nifty is quoting at 8,789.00 level up by 0.2%.

STOCKS IN FOCUS

M&M, SBI, IOC and HPCL are due to release their quarterly results later during the day.

Cipla Limited has posted a growth of 15 per cent in its net profit for the December quarter to Rs 328 crore. The consolidated net profit was Rs 284 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2013.

SpiceJet’s net loss in the quarter ending December 31, 2014, widened 59 per cent to Rs 275 crore on a decline in revenue, higher finance costs and aircraft redelivery expenses.

Reliance Capital (RCap) has posted a 28 per cent year-on-year growth in net profit to Rs 213 crore in the third quarter of FY15, on the back of robust growth in mutual funds and insurance businesses. Total income for the quarter ended December 2014 rose 11 per cent to Rs 2,105 crore.

Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), the country's largest power equipment manufacturer, posted a disappointing set of numbers for the quarter ended December 2014.

Tamil Nadu Newsprint & Papers Ltd reported a net profit of Rs 37.66 crore during the quarter ended December 31, 2014, as compared with Rs 36.89 crore a year ago. Total revenues dropped to Rs 477.20 crore from Rs 596.75 crore. Despite drop in sales and prices, the company managed to maintain profit largely through reducing the cost of production.

State-run telecom firm MTNL has posted a net loss of Rs 730.83 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 2014. The company, which offer services in Delhi and Mumbai, had reported a net profit of Rs 428.03 crore in the corresponding quarter last fiscal, MTNL said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Hindalco Industries on Thursday reported a lower-than-expected stand-alone net profit of Rs 359 crore in the December quarter, up 7.25 per cent from last year as sales grew faster. The subdued growth in profit was due to increased finance costs, which more than doubled year-on-year, as well as a sharp rise in employee, power and fuel and other expenditure.

Bank of India’s net profits for the third quarter ended December 2014 dipped by 70.2 per cent to Rs 173 crore on a meagre growth in net interest income, higher provision for the wage bill and bad loans. The public sector lender had posted net profits of Rs 585 crore in the September-December 2013.


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