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Sensex volatile but above 20k, RIL at 52-week high on strong earnings

By Firstbiz Staff

It's a volatile start to the Indian markets with 15 Sensex components in green.

While the Sensex opened hundreds points higher at 20148, it quickly pared its gains and is currently up 0.21 percent at 20086. The Nifty too is up 0.13 percent at 6072.

Corporate earnings will continue to set the tone for stock markets this week, with Maruti Suzuki and Hindustan Unilever among the companies that will
announce October-December quarter results, say experts.

RIL is up 4 percent after the company posted a 24 percent jump in its net profit, beating forecasts. Net profit for the October to December quarter was Rs 5500 crores, a turnaround after four quarters of sliding profits. Revenues rose 10 per cent, from a year earlier, to Rs 96,310 crores.

Reliance Industries has bought back shares worth over Rs 3,900 crore from public shareholders through an about year-long share repurchase programme, achieving just about 38 per cent of the target.

"After a long time RIL has surprised markets with extremely good set of numbers and this is what market participants were anticipating from the oil & gas major. It's just a matter of time -- I see the stock heading towards four digits mark," says Jagannadham Thunuguntla, Equity Head, SMC Capitals in an interview with ET NOW.

Oil marketing companies too extended gains after the government's decision to allow higher diesel prices: Hindustan Petroleum Corp is up 2.14 percent, Indian Oil Corp is up 1.9 percent, while Bharat Petroleum Corp gained 2.8 percent higher.

State Bank of India gained 0.6 percent after the bank approved a Rs 3004 crore capital injection by the government.

Reuters

"Markets may remain sideways to positive in coming days, on positive international cues and moderately good set of numbers from the corporate Inc," said Alex Mathews, Head Research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.

Besides earnings, investors will also look for signs on key rate cut in the RBI policy review slated for January 29.

Meanwhile, rating agency Moody's has reaffirmed India's rating at 'Baa3' and the outlook as stable. Retaining a stable outlook on India's sovereign ratings, at Baa3, the lowest level in investment grade, it has, however, said government finances are the "weakest aspect of India's macroeconomic profile". S&P and Fitch have warned of a rating downgrade recently.

Last week, the BSE 30-stock index, Sensex, closed above 20,000 points after two years due to strong buying in refinery, realty and PSU equities, spurred by partial deregulation of diesel prices and the government decision to defer the implementation of controversial anti-tax evasion proposal GAAR.

In bold reforms, the government on Thursday moved towards deregulating diesel when it raised prices by 50 paise per litre and planned similar monthly hikes in future to cut record subsidies.

With PTI inputs

by Firstbiz Staff

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