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Benchmarks trade with limited losses; Europe markets advance at open
(02 Feb 2023, 13:32)

The domestic equity benchmarks traded with small losses in afternoon trade as buying in FMCG and IT stocks helped to make up for most losses incurred due to a sell-off in metals, oil & gas and financials. The Nifty traded below the 17,550 mark. Markets in Europe and Asia, however, edge higher today.

At 13:29 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 32.88 points or 0.06% to 59,675.20. The Nifty 50 index lost 70.25 points or 0.4% to 17,546.05.

UPL (down 5.87%), Adani Ports (down 5.74%), HDFC Life (down 5.38%), Tata Steel (down 2.46%) and NTPC (down 2.26%) were the top Nifty losers.

ITC (up 5.33%), Hindustan Unilever (up 1.87%), IndusInd Bank (up 1.72%), Infosys (up 1.49%) and TCS (up 1.26%) were the top Nifty gainers.

In the broader market, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index shed 0.23% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index gained 0.39%.

The market breadth was positive. On the BSE, 1,646 shares rose and 1,747 shares fell. A total of 135 shares were unchanged.

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates as expected on Wednesday, and signaled that it will keep hiking rates to curb inflation. But this spurred expectations that the ensuing economic fallout will push the bank into potentially cutting interest rates by as soon as late-2023.

Domestic equity trade in the red, in stark contrast with their global peers, with losses largely centered around firms under the Adani Group along with industrials and bank stocks exposed to the conglomerate, after it abruptly withdrew a $2.5 billion share offering by its flagship firm, Adani Enterprises.

Indian equity markets were also factoring in the Union Government's 2023 budget, which was released on Wednesday. The budget outlined more income tax breaks, and also flagged increased government spending this year.

Stocks in Spotlight:

Adani Enterprises slumped 18.15%. The board of Adani Enterprises on Wednesday (1 February 2023) decided to call off the Rs 20,000 crore follow-on public offer (FPO).

A press release issued by the conglomerate late on Wednesday stated, Given the unprecedented situation and the current market volatility the company aims to protect the interest of its investing community by returning the FPO proceeds and withdraws the completed transaction.

Coal India shed 0.66%. The state-run coal major's total offtake stood at 64.5 million tonnes (MT) in January 2023, registering a growth of 6.1% as compared with 60.8 MT recorded in the same month previous year. The company's coal production jumped 11.5% to 71.9 million tonnes (MT) in January 2023 from 64.5 MT in January 2022.

Britannia Industries jumped 5.10%. The FMCG major's consolidated sales for the quarter ended 31st December 2022 grew 16% to Rs 4,101 crore and net profit grew 151% to Rs. 932 crores. The net profit includes an exceptional gain (net of tax) of Rs. 359 crore, pursuant to a joint venture agreement with Bel SA for the Cheese business and consequent sale of 49% equity stake in its subsidiary & fair valuation of the residual stake of 51%.

Eicher Motors fell 3.31%. The company said that its unlisted subsidiary, VE Commercial Vehicles (VECV) sold 7,181 units of commercial vehicles (CV) in January 2023, registering a growth of 32.1% compared with 5,434 units sold in January 2022.

Hero MotoCorp declined 2.67%. The two-wheeler major's total sales slipped 6.25% to 356,690 units in January 2023 as against 380,476 units sold in January 2022.

Global Markets:

European markets opened in the green while most of the Asian stocks edged higher on Thursday as investors digested the U.S. Federal Reserve's smaller rate hike of 25 basis points and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged inflation is falling.

On Thursday, investors in Europe will be focused on the latest monetary policy decisions from the European Central Bank and Bank of England.

US stocks rose on Wednesday after Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell acknowledged that inflation was starting to ease, in remarks he made following a quarter-point rate hike by the U.S. central bank.

The US central bank announced a quarter-point hike to the benchmark lending rate at the end of its two-day policy meeting, taking the rate to a target range of 4.50-4.75%. Inflation has eased somewhat but remains elevated, said the Fed's policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) in a statement. The committee anticipates that ongoing increases in the target range will be appropriate to bring inflation back to policymakers' 2% target over time, the statement said.

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