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BW Businessworld

Market Watch: Sensex Gains, ITC Rebounds, HUL Slumps

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The BSE Sensex rises 0.17 per cent and the Nifty is up 0.2 per cent, tracking gains in other Asian markets. The MSCI-Asia Pacific index excluding Japan is up 0.38 per cent.
ITC Ltd gains 1.2 per cent after a 4.5 per cent fall on Thursday, 25 July, after its first-quarter earnings were seen as overdone.  Biocon gains 4.7 per cent after saying late on Thursday its June-quarter net profit rose 19 per cent beating consensus estimates.

Maruti Suzuki Falls On Muted Sales Outlook: Shares in Maruti Suzuki fail to hold on to earlier gains and are down 2.2 per cent after analysts raised concerns about the carmaker's cautious outlook on car sales. Although investors initially reacted positively to April-June results that showed a 49 per cent rise in net profit, analysts warned Maruti Suzuki's cautious outlook on car demand could weigh on shares in the near-term.

A rise in discounts to push sales amid softening demand in diesel vehicles is also seen weighing on Maruti Suzuki shares, analysts add. Company expects sales volumes to grow up to 5 per cent in the current financial for domestic market.

Citigroup Downgrades DLF To 'Sell' From 'Neutral': Citigroup downgrades property developer DLF<DLF.NS> to "sell" from "neutral" and cuts its target price to Rs 150 from Rs 209. "High leverage and mounting interest costs combined with tough macro, slowing demand, and the possibility of tighter liquidity pose significant downside risks," Citigroup said in a note dated on Thursday.

Citigroup added DLF would need a "rapid" resolution to its debt burden to preserve equity value over the medium term. DLF is shedding non-core assets to pare debt, announcing on Thursday it would sell its 74 per cent stake in a life insurance joint venture with U.S.-based Prudential International Insurance Holdings Ltd to Dewan Housing Finance Corp. DLF shares were up 0.1 per cent at 12.14 p.m.

Hindustan Unilever Falls Ahead Of Results: Shares in Hindustan Unilever fall as much as 4.5 per cent ahead of its April-June earnings later in the day, down for a second day after hitting an all-time high of Rs 725 on Wednesday, 24 July.

Parent Unilever Plc has become more cautious about prospects for emerging markets, a big growth driver for the consumer goods company, which reported underlying second-quarter sales growth shy of market expectations. Hindustan Unilever also said on Thursday that Life Insurance Corp of India sold 67.3 million shares at Rs 600 per share. The stock was trading 3.13 per cent lower at 12.29 p.m.

Jet Surges Nearly 20% On Talk FIPB To Approve Etihad Deal: Shares in Jet Airways surged as much as 19.7 per cent on Friday, 26 July, after traders said the Foreign Investment Promotion Board was likely to approve a planned stake sale to Etihad Airways. Jet Airways and Etihad Airways officials were not immediately reachable for comment on the market speculation. A spokesman for India's finance ministry, which oversees FIPB, declined to comment.

The FIPB, which clears foreign direct investment proposals, is scheduled to consider the Jet-Etihad deal at its meeting on Monday and traders said it may be approved. The FIPB last month deferred a decision on Jet's plan to sell a 24 per cent stake to Etihad. Jet shares were trading 14 per cent higher at 12.22 p.m.