Nifty above 8,750; Sensex up over 100 points led by pharma

Markets are trading firm in the opening trades tracking strong global cues along with sustained buying among pharma and financial shares.

By 9:30, the Sensex was higher by 124 points at 28,929 mark and the Nifty gained by 44 points at 8,755 levels.

However, the broader markets are outperforming the benchmark indices- BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices are up over 0.6%. markets breadth in BSE is positive with 1,122 shares advancing and 505 shares declining.

On the macro econimic front, 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% in December from 3.9% in November, owing to low consumer durable goods and mining output, while CPI inflation rose to 5.11% in January from 4.28 per cent in December. The Reserve Bank of India has set a target of restricting inflation to 8% by January 2015 and 6% in January 2016.

Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors sold shares worth a net Rs 406.28 crore yesterday, as per provisional data. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 705.53 crore yesterday, as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges.

GLOBAL MARKETS

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. Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.2% but the broader Topix tacked on 0.1 %.

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.

GAINERS & LOSERS

BSE Consumer Durables, Healthcare, Bankex, Metal and FMCG indices are up 0.5-1.3%. However, sectors like Power, Auto, Capital Goods and Oil & Gas are trading in negative zone.

Mahindra & Mahindra, State Bank of India, HPCL and Indian Oil Corporation will declare their Q3 December 2014 result today.

Cipla is the top Sense gainer, up over 2%. The company has posted a growth of 15% 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.

Hindalco Industries on Thursday reported a lower-than-expected stand-alone net profit of Rs 359 crore in the December quarter, up 7.25% 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. The stock has gained nearly 2%.

Other notable gainers are SBI, Sun Pharma, Tata Steel, Sesa Sterlite, ICICI Bank and L&T.

On the losing side, BHEL is the top Sensex loser, down nearly 6%. Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), the country's largest power equipment manufacturer, posted a disappointing set of numbers for the quarter ended December 2014.

ONGC, Tata Motors, GAIL, Coal India and Infosys have slipped between 0.4-2%.


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