Sensex surges over 500 points ahead of exit polls; auto, banks lead gains2 min read . Updated: 17 May 2019, 04:17 PM IST
- Bajaj Finance and Bajaj Auto were among the top gainers
- Some weakness was seen in select IT stocks
Indian markets rose sharply today ahead of exit poll results that will be announced on Sunday, when the final phase of voting ends. Final outcome of the general elections will be declared on 23 May. Gains were led by financials and auto stocks while robust March-quarter results of financials, including Bajaj Finance Ltd and Bajaj Finserv Ltd, also lifted investor sentiment. The Sensex surged 537 points to 37,930, while Nifty reclaimed the 11,400 level, setting 1.3% higher at 11,407.
“Indian markets have shown tremendous strength one day before the long-awaited exit polls, despite the ongoing ambiguity in US-China trade talks. With the last phase of elections scheduled for Sunday, the all-round buying across the sectors reflects market's anticipation that exit polls may indicate the formation of a stable government," said Jagannadham Thunuguntla, senior VP and head of research (Wealth) at Centrum Broking..
Analysts warn of high volatility in the run-up to the election verdict day. Swiss brokerage UBS Securities in a report said that Indian markets could see swings in either direction depending on the poll outcome.
"General election results are due on 23 May. Irrespective of the verdict, the results are bound to provide wild gyrations in the market as per historical trends and current positioning," Yes Securities said.
The Nifty Auto and Bank indices rose over 2% each. Bajaj Finance and Bajaj Finserv shares today hit fresh 52-week highs intraday, before settling 6% and 5% higher respectively. Among other financials, Kotak Mahindra Bank rose 3.3%, HDFC 2.8%, ICICI Bank 2.2%, Axis Bank 2.1% and HDFC Bank 2%.
Among auto stocks, Bajaj Auto shares rose as much as 7% intra-day after the two-wheeler maker reported a 21% jump in Q4 net, aided by a one-off gain. Among other automakers, Hero MotoCorp advanced 4.2%, Maruti 3.5%, and M&M 2.3%.
Some weakness was seen in select IT stocks, with TCS, Infosys and HCL Tech ending lower.
Broader indices followed the benchmarks, with the BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices settling in the green.
Bajaj Auto today reported a 21% jump in net profit to ₹1,306 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2019. It was aided by one-time gain of ₹342 crore. In the same quarter of the previous year, Bajaj Auto had reported a net profit of ₹1,080 crore. At day's high, Bajaj Auto shares rose as much as 7%.
Tata Global Beverages shares are up 5% in late trade, following a 10% surge on Thursday. Tata Chemicals shares advanced 3% today, following 8% gain in Thursday.
Shares of Bajaj Finserv and its subsidiary Bajaj Finance today surged new highs after Bajaj Finance posted strong earnings on Thursday. At day’s highs, Bajaj Finserv shares soared 5% to a ₹8,021 while Bajaj Finance surged 6% to ₹3,298 amid a spurt in volumes in both the counters. Bajaj Finance Thursday reported a 50% jump in standalone net profit to ₹1,114 crore for March 2019 quarter. The company had registered a net profit of ₹743 crore in the corresponding quarter a year ago. Its total income during the quarter rose to ₹4,887.76 crore from ₹3,424.99 crore in the year-ago period. Gross non-performing assets (NPAs) and net NPAs stood at 1.54% and 0.63%, respectively, at the end of March 2019.
Bajaj Finance shares surged for the third day in a row as the the company posted strong earnings. Net profit growth beat Street estimates to come in at 41% on a stand-alone basis, and 57% on a consolidated basis. (Read: Bajaj Finance puts up a strong show, but consumption slowdown emerges)
Yes Bank shares surged as much as 6% to ₹145.95 in early trade. The private lender today said the appointment of former deputy governor of Reserve Bank of India R Gandhi on the board is aimed at strengthening the bank. In a notice to the exchanges, the private sector lender also said the appointment is in the best interest of all stakeholders. “This is a very positive and constructive measure aimed at further strengthening the Board. This will not impede the smooth, independent and effective functioning of the Bank in any way. RBI is supportive of a strong and successful YES Bank and we stand committed to serving the best interests of all our stakeholders," the notice added. Yes Bank shares have been under pressure over the past few sessions.
Oil prices rose again today and were on track for the first weekly gains this month, as rising tensions in the Middle East stoked fears of supply disruptions. Brent crude futures were at $73.00 a barrel, up 38 cents, or 0.5%, from their last close, rising for a fourth straight session. Brent was up 3.4% for the week, on track for its first gain in three weeks. Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen carried out several air strikes on the Houthi-held capital Sanaa on Thursday after the Iranian-aligned movement claimed responsibility for drone attacks on two Saudi oil pumping stations earlier in the week.