Sensex, Nifty nears record high, ONGC-HPCL shares trade opposite on merger approval; RIL up ahead of results

By: | Updated: July 20, 2017 10:07 AM

Indian stock markets open marginally higher as the Union Cabinet cleared the proposed acquisition of HPCL by ONGC. Positive sentiments are also flowing amid the investors ahead of the better expectations of first quarter earnings of blue-chip companies

Among the Sensex scrips Reliance Industries, Wipro, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Bajaj Auto are scheduled to announce the first quarter results for the financial year 2017-2018.

Indian stock markets open marginally higher as the Union Cabinet cleared the proposed acquisition of HPCL by ONGC. Positive sentiments are also flowing amid the investors ahead of the better expectations of first quarter earnings of blue-chip companies. Among the Sensex scrips Reliance Industries, Wipro, Kotak Mahindra Bank and Bajaj Auto are scheduled to announce the first quarter results for the financial year 2017-2018. BSE Sensex opened 38 points higher at 32,033.82 points while NSE Nifty 50 opened above 9,900 level, advancing 21 points.

However, within minutes of trading benchmarks washed off the early morning gains with the 30-share barometer trading up 0.09% at 31,982.98 points while the broader Nifty is trading up 0.05% at 9,904.5 points. Shares of the heavyweight stocks which are about to announce the first quarter earnings trade mixed with Kotak Mahindra Bank (up 1.79%), Reliance Industries (up 0.64%), Wipro (up 0.13%), Bajaj Auto (down 0.35%).

On the back of merger approval of HPCL by ONGC shares of ONGC inches up 2.58% to Rs 167.2 while HPCL shares went down 2.74% to Rs 373.2. The sale of the 51.1% stake in state-run refining and marketing company HPCL, held by the government, to oil exploration and production firm ONGC could fetch the government about Rs 29,000 crore at current market prices.

However, there was no clarity yet on the price that ONGC will pay for the acquisition. Earlier this month, ET Now had reported that the government is considering asking it to shell out 405-50% premium for HPCL’s equity stake. Later, another news report said that ONGC officials are of the view that no premium is required to be paid since HPCL is openly traded in the market and is already fairly valued.

The rupee weakened 7 paise to 64.35 against the dollar today, hurt by fresh demand for the American currency from importers. The dollar rose to a position of strength overseas, which pushed down the rupee. But what pulled back the slide was continuous foreign capital inflows and a slightly higher opening in the domestic stock market.

Earlier yesterday the total market valuation of all listed companies on the BSE surged to a record high of over Rs 131 lakh crore today brought about by upbeat sentiment in the broader market.

On Wednesday Wall Street Shares jumped to fresh records on higher oil prices, better-than- expected housing data and mostly solid earnings reports. All three major US stock indices finished at new records, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 0.3% to 21,640.75.The S&P 500 gained 0.5% to end at 2,473.83, while the tech-rich Nasdaq advanced 0.6% to 6,385.04.

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