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Sensex Finishes on a Flat Note; Idea Plunges 5% on Weak Q3 Peformance
Wed, 24 Jan Closing | Karan Janani, TM Team

Indian share markets finished on a flat note after a five-session record-setting spree as profit booking was witnessed in metal stocks, capital goods stocks, consumer durables stocks, and power stocks ahead of January month expiry in the derivatives segment

At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex closed higher by 22 points and the NSE Nifty finished higher by 3 points. The S&P BSE Mid Cap finished down by 0.6% while S&P BSE Small Cap finished down by 0.9%.

TCS share price finished the day on an encouraging note (up 2.1%). TCS became India's second company to cross Rs6 trillion market capitalisation after its shares rallied approx. 20% so far this year. TCS is far behind among global technology firms in terms of market capitalization. It holds the 17th position among the topmost valued international technologies firms.

Asian stock markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.37% and the Hang Seng rose 0.08%. The Nikkei 225 lost 0.76%. European markets are lower today with shares in London off the most. The FTSE 100 is down 0.47% while France's CAC 40 is off 0.14% and Germany's DAX is lower by 0.09%.

Rupee was trading at Rs 63.64 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 64.58 at the time of writing.

In news from the economy, highlighting India is coming out of post Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation woes, global rating agency, Standard & Poor's (S&P) ratings, in its latest report titled 'APAC Economic Snapshots, January 2018' has said that overall economic risks in India remain low, on the back of pick up in industrial output and bank credit.

However, the rating agency raised concerns over rising crude oil prices, terming it as a 'risk' for the country, as a majority of India's import bill stem from crude oil purchases.

The report further mentioned about recent growth of industrial sector, noting that Industrial output (and investment more generally) -- the missing piece of the sustainable growth story in recent years -- jumped to a 25-month high in November, led by manufacturing. Besides, the rating agency also highlighted improving bank credit situation to the real economy.

Telecom stocks are in focus today after deep-pocketed Reliance Jio launched newer and cheaper tariff plans to intensify competition once again. The new plans were seen to offer more data for the same price, along with introducing a cheaper price point.

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The telecom industry, already plagued by tariff wars and debt of Rs 5 trillion has had another poor quarter. The latest tariff cuts are expected to drag average revenue per user (ARPU) by another 20-30% in the coming quarters.

Meanwhile, Idea Cellular posted a fifth consecutive quarterly net loss hurt by a sharp cut in interconnection fees that telecom operators pay each other.

Its net loss widened to Rs 12.85 billion in the third quarter ended December 2017, versus a loss of Rs 3.84 billion a year earlier.

The whole telecom industry and business has been an underwhelming story so far. While the telecom subscriber base has increased from 300 million in 2008 to 1.2 billion in 2017, investors have little to cheer. The BSE Sensex has gone up 3.25 times in nine years, but the BSE Telecom Index has not moved an inch from its levels of 2008.

Telecom Sector: A decade of Underperformance

Telecom companies are straddled with high debt, intense competition, and lack of pricing power. High spectrum costs and regulatory issues have hampered the sector. While consumers have benefited from low costs and new players fighting for their share, investors have suffered.

Idea share price plunged 5.4% in today's trade. Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel share finished the day down by 6.5% on the BSE.

Moving on to news from mining sector. As per an article in The Economic times, Coal India board has empowered subsidiaries to fix their own floor prices for e-auctions, which is expected to help the monopoly get higher rates.

Reportedly, the subsidiaries are now free to fix any floor price, which could be more than 20% for non-power consumers and 10% for power consumers. If demand for a particular source of coal is very high, Coal India subsidiaries are now free to fix prices that could fetch them additional revenue.

At present, there is a shortage of coal availability in the international market due to rains in Indonesia and rising demand from China. This has helped the company realise better margins from spot e-auctions this year.

The company is estimated to have earned a total revenue Rs 120 billion till December 2017 from e-auctions. It earned around Rs 97.21 billion in the previous corresponding period, an expected 23% rise.

Coal India share price finished the day up by 0.7% on the BSE.

And here's a note from Profit Hunter:

The benchmark indices are trading on a flattish note. However, the IT stocks are witnessing buying interest. The Nifty IT Index is trading at a new 52-week high - up 1.5%. Majority of the stocks in the index are trading in the green and at a fresh 52-week high.

In an earlier note, we stated that the Nifty IT Index was trading in a falling channel. We also showed you how the RSI indicator found resistance from its typical bear market level of 60, indicating weakness in price action.

The index broke above the channel's resistance line in July 2017. The RSI indicators also rose above the 60 level mark. Consequently, the resilient index soared nearly 25% from the channel break-out level. Today, the index has touched a new 52-week high of 13,554. Stocks or indices usually outperform after they hit a new 52-week high.

To know our detailed view on IT stocks, read today's Profit Hunter Pro newsletter (subscription required).

Nifty IT Index Hits a New 52-Week High
Nifty IT Index Hits a New 52-Week High

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Jan 24, 2018 03:33 PM