The US stock market gauge, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, scaled the highest level in more than four years. Equities gained after data showed that manufacturing expanded at a faster pace than expected in April.
The Institute for Supply Management’s index of national factory activity rose to 54.8 from 53.4 in March. While markets were expecting a reading of 53.0, according to the Reuters, the pace of growth is strongest in 10 months.
The strong manufacturing data revived investors’ optimism in the US economy, sending the S&P 500 higher by 0.57% to 1,405. Asian markets also opened on a positive note. Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.04% to 9,354 on buying in shares of export dependent companies.
Back home, the government and the central bank are working on ways to give Indian companies more flexibility in repayment of foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs), reports The Economic Times. According to the report, the authorities might allow Indian companies renegotiate repayment terms.
The empowered group of ministers (EGoM) paved the way for the initiation of the spectrum auction process. According to the Business Standard, the EGoM approved the selection process of an auctioneer.
Reflecting weak demand, India’s exports fell for the first time since 2009. Exports in March fell by 5.7% to $28.7 billion. Read the Reuters report.
Automobile stocks could witness some action. Sales of most car makers either declined or rose only marginally in April. Including exports, Tata Motors reported a 7% year-on-year drop in April sales. Sales in the domestic market fell by 5% to 57,305 units. However the country’s largest car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki, reported a 3.4% growth in April sales, while Mahindra & Mahindra said its automobile sales rose by 27% in April.
Watch out for the Hindustan Unilever stock as it reacts to its March quarter earnings. The company reported a better than expected 21%-growth in fourth quarter profit. Read the Mint analysis of the results.
A subsidiary of HCC has bagged a contract worth Rs 800 crore from the National Highways Authority of India. The contract involves six-laning of Vadodara-Surat section of NH-8. Read The Hindu Business Line report.
DLF is planning to enter multi-brand department store retail format, reports The Times of India. According to the report, the company is launching its first multi-brand store next month.
NMDC has increased iron ore prices by around 10%, reports The Hindu Business Line. The price hike is expected to increase raw material costs for companies like JSW Steel.
Bharti Airtel, Century Textiles, Hero MotoCorp and Kansai Nerolac are some of the notable companies that will declare their March quarter earnings today.
Finally, bonds proved to be the only investments to provide positive returns for the first time since the beginning of 2008. Fixed income assets like government and junk bonds gained 0.7% in April, reports the Bloomberg. MSCI All Country World index of stocks lost 1.1% in the same period.