Thursday, April 17, 2014

END SESSION ( 16 / 04 )

BSE Small-Cap, Mid-Cap indices drop more than 1% each
Key benchmark indices edged lower after private weather forecaster Skymet on Tuesday, 15 April 2014, said it expects the June-September monsoon to be below normal this year. The forecast of below-normal rains triggered worries that food price inflation will edge up. Increase in global crude oil prices also hit sentiment on the domestic bourses adversely as the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, and the CNX Nifty, both, hit their lowest closing level in almost three weeks. The Sensex lost 207.70 points or 0.92%, off 256.38 points from the day's high and up 29.84 points from the day's low. The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market was weak. The BSE Small-Cap and BSE Mid-Cap indices lost more than 1% each.
Indian stocks declined for the third day in a row today, 16 April 2014. The Sensex has declined 438.10 points, or 1.92% in three trading sessions from a recent high of 22,715.33 on 10 April 2014. The Sensex has declined 109.04 points or 0.48% in this month so far (till 16 April 2014). The Sensex has gained 1,106.55 points or 5.22% in calendar year 2014 so far (till 16 April 2014). From a 52-week low of 17,448.71 on 28 August 2013, the Sensex has risen 4,828.52 points or 27.67%.The Sensex is off 515.26 points from record high of 22,792.49 hit on 10 April 2014.
Coming back to today's trade, IndusInd Bank rose after strong Q4 results. Interest rate sensitive realty stocks dropped. Capital goods stocks also edged lower. IT major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) dropped ahead of its Q4 results today, 16 April 2014. Infosys declined after the company's American depositary receipt (ADR) dropped on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, 15 April 2014, after the company announced its Q4 March 2014 results and issued guidance for the year ending 31 March 2015 (FY 2015). Index heavyweight and cigarette major ITC edged higher in volatile trade.
Increase in crude oil prices triggered concerns about India's current account deficit and fiscal deficit. West Texas Intermediate crude advanced to a six-week high amid concern that the crisis in Ukraine is escalating. WTI for May delivery was up $1.17 or 1.13% at $104.92 a barrel. Brent for June delivery was up 71 cents or 0.65% at $110.07 a barrel. India imports majority of its crude oil requirements.
Ukraine began an offensive against separatists in its restive east, recapturing an airport amid claims that Russian special forces were supporting anti-government groups. Ukraine's offensive yesterday, 15 April 2014, marked its first foray against armed activists holding government buildings in cities near the Russian border. Ukraine's Interior Ministry units ousted pro-Russian activists who had seized the airfield in Kramatorsk. Russia is the world's biggest energy exporter.
A bout of initial volatility was witnessed as key benchmark indices regained positive terrain after slipping into the red for a brief period after opening slightly higher. Volatility continued as key benchmark indices regained positive once again after reversing intraday gains in morning trade. Key benchmark indices were trading marginally higher in mid-morning trade, having moved in a narrow range. The Sensex slipped into the red in early afternoon trade. Key benchmark indices extended losses and hit fresh intraday low in afternoon trade. A bout of volatility was witnessed as key benchmark indices trimmed losses after hitting fresh intraday low in mid-afternoon trade. The Sensex extended losses and hit fresh intraday low in late trade.
The S&P BSE Sensex shed 207.70 points or 0.92% to settle at 22,277.23, its lowest closing level since 27 March 2014. The index declined 237.54 points at the day's low of 22,247.39 in late trade. The index rose 48.69 points at the day's high of 22,533.61 in early trade.
The CNX Nifty was down 57.80 points or 0.86% to settle at 6,675.30, its lowest closing level since 27 March 2014. The index hit a low of 6,665.15 in intraday trade. The index hit a high of 6,748.65 in intraday trade.
The BSE Mid-Cap index lost 79.23 points or 1.08% to settle at 7,232.76. The BSE Small-Cap index shed 83.28 points or 1.11% to settle at 7,418.22. Both these indices underperformed the Sensex.
The total turnover on BSE amounted to Rs 2649 crore, lower than Rs 2875.18 crore on Tuesday, 15 April 2014.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market was weak. On BSE, 1,654 shares declined and 1,088 shares gained. A total of 130 shares were unchanged.
The S&P BSE Consumer Durables index (down 1.1%), the S&P BSE Power index (down 1.86%), the S&P BSE Teck index (down 2.14%), the S&P BSE Capital Goods index (down 2.47%), the S&P BSE IT index (down 2.49%) and the S&P BSE Realty index (down 3.87%) underperformed the Sensex.
The S&P BSE FMCG index (up 0.63%), the S&P BSE Metal index (up 0.19%), the S&P BSE Bankex (down 0.11%), the S&P BSE Healthcare index (down 0.5%), the S&P BSE Auto index (down 0.65%) and the S&P BSE Oil & Gas index (down 0.72%) outperformed the Sensex.
Tata Power Company (down 3.55%), Wipro (down 2.89%) and HDFC (down 2.46%) edged lower from the Sensex pack.
Index heavyweight and cigarette major ITC rose 1.32% to Rs 345.50 in volatile trade. The stock hit high of Rs 347.55 and low of Rs 340.
Index heavyweight Reliance Industries (RIL) fell 0.58% to Rs 943. The stock hit high of Rs 959 and low of Rs 938.20. RIL unveils Q4 results on Friday, 18 April 2014. The stock market remains closed on that day on account of Good Friday.
Shares of public sector oil marketing companies fell as the price of petrol was on Tuesday, 15 April 2014, cut by Rs 0.70 a litre, excluding local levies. Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) (down 1.82%), BPCL (down 2.04%) and HPCL (down 3.56%) edged lower.
The price of petrol was cut by Rs 0.70 a litre, excluding local levies, the second reduction in rates this month as appreciation of the rupee against the US dollar made oil imports cheaper. With the late price revision, retail selling price at Delhi had declined by Rs 0.85 a litre, IOC said. There was no change in diesel prices.
Public sector oil marketing companies (PSU OMCs) suffer under-recovery on domestic sales of diesel, kerosene and LPG at government controlled prices. In January 2013, the government allowed PSU OMCs to raise diesel prices in small measures at regular intervals. The government has already freed pricing of petrol.
PSU OMCs are currently suffering under-recovery of Rs 5.49 a litre on high speed diesel (HSD) (retail), Rs 34.43 a litre on superior kerosene oil (SKO) (public distribution system) and Rs 505.50 cylinder on LPG (domestic), IOC said in a statement.
The movement of prices in the international oil market and INR-USD exchange rate are continuously under watch and developing trends reflected in future price changes, IOC added.
Bank stocks reversed intraday gains in volatile trade. Among PSU bank stocks, State Bank of India (SBI) (down 0.18%), Bank of India (down 3.57%), Canara Bank (down 2.49%) and Union Bank of India (down 2.97%) dropped. Punjab National Bank (up 0.26%), Bank of Baroda (up 1.12%) gained.
Among private bank stocks, ICICI Bank (down 0.14%), Axis Bank (down 1.09%) and Kotak Mahindra Bank (down 0.58%) declined. HDFC Bank rose 0.22%.
IndusInd Bank rose 0.59% after good Q4 results. The bank's net profit rose 28.83% to Rs 396.05 crore on 23.35% rise in total income to Rs 2702.19 crore in Q4 March 2014 over Q4 March 2013. The result was announced during market hours.
IndusInd Bank's ratio of gross non-performing assets (NPAs) to gross advances fell to 1.12% as on 31 March 2014, from 1.18% as on 31 December 2013 and but rose from 1.03% as on 31 March 2013. The ratio of net NPA to net advances rose to 0.33% as on 31 March 2014, from 0.31% each as on 31 December 2013 and 31 March 2013.
The bank's provisions and contingencies rose 47.28% to Rs 120.55 crore in Q4 March 2014 over Q4 March 2013. Provisions and contingencies dropped 4.44% to Rs 120.55 crore in Q4 March 2014 over Q3 December 2013.
During the quarter ended 31 March 2014, the bank decided to align the accounting policy on valuation of investments under Available for Sale (AFS) and Held for Trading (HFT) categories in line with RBI guidelines. Accordingly, the securities have been valued scrip-wise and depreciation/appreciation has been aggregated for each classification. While aggregate depreciation for each classification has been provided, the aggregate net appreciation, if any, for a classification has been ignored, IndusInd Bank said. As a result of the change, the provision for depreciation on AFS/HFT securities is lower by Rs 14.05 crore and consequently net profit for the quarter and year ended 31 March 2014 higher by Rs 9.27 crore, IndusInd Bank said in a footnote to the results.
The RBI permitted banks to distribute the net depreciation on the Available for Sale (AFS) and Held for Trading (HFT) portfolios as on each of the valuation dates in equal installments during the financial year 2013-2014. The bank amortised such depreciation during the quarters ended 30 September and 31 December 2013. In the Profit and Loss Account for the quarter and year ended 31 March 2014, IndusInd Bank has recognised depreciation in respect of the AFS and HFT portfolios in full.
IT major TCS dropped 2.82% ahead of its Q4 results today, 16 April 2014.
Infosys declined after the company's American depositary receipt (ADR) dropped on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, 15 April 2014, after the company announced its Q4 March 2014 results and issued guidance for the year ending 31 March 2015 (FY 2015). The stock was off 3.2%. The company's ADR fell 4.68% to settle at $52.98 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, 15 April 2014.
Infosys before trading hours in India on Tuesday, 15 April 2014, said its consolidated net profit rose 4.1% to Rs 2992 crore on 1.2% decline in revenue to Rs 12875 crore in Q4 March 2014 over Q3 December 2013. Infosys' non-operational income jumped 16.4% to Rs 851 crore in Q4 March 2014 over Q3 December 2013. The results are as per International Financial Reporting Standards.
Infosys has forecast revenue growth of 7% to 9% in dollar terms for the year ending 31 March 2015 (FY 2015). The company has forecast revenue growth of 5.6% to 7.6% in rupee terms for FY 2015. The guidance in rupee terms is based on rupee dollar conversion rate of 60.
Metal and mining stocks edged higher as China reported data on economic growth for the January-to-March period which was better than estimates. China is the world's largest consumer of copper and aluminum.
Sesa Sterlite (up 0.13%), JSW Steel (up 0.46%), Steel Authority of India (Sail) (up 0.07%), NMDC (up %), Hindustan Copper (up %), National Aluminium Company (up 1.28%), Jindal Steel & Power (up 1.1%), and Hindalco Industries (up 1.12%) edged higher. Hindustan Zinc fell 0.69%.
Tata Steel gained 1.55%. Tata Steel early this week said it completed the year ended 31 March 2014 (FY 2014) with an overall increase in production and sales volumes. Sales volume jumped 14% to 85.16 lakh tonnes in the year ended 31 March 2014 (FY 2014) over the year ended 31 March 2013 (FY 2013). Sales volume rose 6% to 24.07 lakh tonnes in Q4 March 2014 over Q4 March 2013.
Capital goods stocks edged lower. L&T (down 2.91%), Bharat Heavy Electricals (Bhel) (down 3.2%), BEML (down 0.07%), Siemens (down 3.21%), Punj Lloyd (down 4.18%) and Thermax (down 1.4%) declined.
Crompton Greaves fell 1.15% to Rs 176.20, with the stock reversing initial gains triggered by reports the company's founding family is holding talks to sell its stake to Hitachi. The stock reversed direction after hitting 52-week high of Rs 188 in intraday trade. The company has clarified that it is not engaged in or informed of any negotiations regarding the rumored stake sale by the promoters of the company.
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories dropped 1.76%. The company today, 16 April 2014, said that it has launched Eszopiclone Tablets (C-IV) 1 mg, 2 mg and 3 mg, a therapeutic equivalent generic version of LUNESTA (eszopiclone) tablets C-IV in the US market on 15 April 2014 following the approval of the United States Food & Drug Administration (USFDA). LUNESTA (eszopiclone) tablets C-IV brand and genric combined had US sales of approximately $887 million for twelve months ended 31 January 2014 according to IMS Health data.
Dr. Reddy's Eszopiclone Tablets (C-IV) 1 mg is available in bottle counts of 30. Eszopiclone Tablets (C-IV) 2 mg and 3 mg are available in bottle counts of 100. .
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals rose 0.3% after the company said at the onset of the trading session that Glenmark Generics Inc USA, a subsidiary of Glenmark Generics has been granted final abbreviated new drug approval (ANDA) from the USFDA for Eszopiclone Tablets. Glenmark will commence distribution of the product immediately. Eszopiclone Tablets are Glenmark's generic version of Sunovion's Lunesta. Lunesta garnered annual sales of $824 million in the United States for 12 months ended 31 December 2013, according to IMS Health data.
Interest rate sensitive realty stocks edged lower. D B Realty (down 5.11%), Anant Raj (down 6.35%), DLF (down 4.79%), Housing Development and Infrastructure (HDIL) (down 6.54%), Sobha Developers (down 0.57%) and Unitech (down 4.76%) declined.
Tata Communications declined 1.8%. The company today, 16 April 2014, said it has further expanded its global data centre footprint by entering strategic partnerships with NEXTDC in Australia, Interxion in Germany and Austria and Pacific Link Telecom (PLT) in Malaysia. These partnerships will enable Tata Communications to extend its current data centre offerings in these regions and to deliver a uniform customer experience across geographies. As businesses go global, the addition of new geographies means customers can now have a single vendor operation and contract for a secure, robust and scalable data centre network, Tata Communications said.
Tata Communications has one million square feet of colocation space across the globe and these new state-of-the-art partner sites in Malaysia, Australia, Austria and Germany will act as extensions to further expand its global data centre footprint. Tata Communications' data centres are fully integrated into the company's global IP network, offering maximum traffic capacity into and out of its facilities, the company said in a statement.
Tata Communications is the only private subsea cable owner that has 100G deployed across major routes around the world on its own infrastructure. It also has the largest privately-owned submarine cable networks in the world, which accounts for over 20% of the world's internet routes. It includes the world's only wholly-owned sub-sea fibre network ring that circumvents the globe.
Reliance Communications (RCom) lost 2.74%, with the stock reversing intraday gains. The company today, 16 April 2014, said it has decided to increase in tariffs by up to 20% for all its pre paid customers. Headline tariffs will increase from 1.5 paise to 1.6 paise per second, while tariffs on discounted and promotional plans will increase by up to 20%, RCom said in a statement. The revised tariffs, which will be applicable for pre-paid customers across the country, will come into effect from 25 April 2014, RCom said.
Mr Gurdeep Singh, Chief Executive Officer, Consumer Business, RCom said: "At Reliance Communications, we continue to focus on growing profitable/paid minutes on our network and the current tariff hikes are part of our continued efforts to reduce free and discounted minutes, and offset the ever rising cost of input materials. We expect RPMs to improve over the next few quarters and this will impact our performance positively".
Shares of Adani group companies were mostly higher in volatile trade on renewed buying. Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone gained 3.39%. Adani Enterprises surged 3.21%. Shares of Adani Power fell 2.55%. The Adani group is known for its proximity to Gujarat Chief Minister and Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. Investors are betting that the BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will be able to form the next government at the centre with support from some regional parties after Lok Sabha elections which conclude in mid-May this year.
Just Dial gained 5.48% to Rs 1,251.35, with the stock reversing recent slide on bargain hunting. Shares of Just Dial were on a downward journey recently, declining 25.59% in six trading days to settle at Rs 1,186.30 on Tuesday, 15 April 2014, from a recent high of Rs 1,594.35 on 3 April 2014.
Jubilant FoodWorks lost 3.16%. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday, 15 April 2014, notified that foreign institutional investors (FIIs), through primary market and stock exchanges, can now purchase up to 55% (revised from earlier limit of 49%) of the paid up capital of Jubilant FoodWorks under the Portfolio Investment Scheme (PIS). Jubilant FoodWorks has passed resolutions at the board of directors' level and a special resolution by the shareholders, agreeing for enhancing the limit from 49% to 55% for the purchase of its equity shares and convertible debentures by FIIs.
The RBI also notified on Tuesday, 15 April 2014, that the foreign share holding by FIIs in Jubilant FoodWorks has gone below the revised threshold limit stipulated under the extant Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Policy. Hence, the restrictions placed on the purchase of shares of the above company are withdrawn with immediate effect, the RBI said in a news release.
Total shareholding of FIIs in Jubilant FoodWorks stood at in 47.38% as on 31 December 2013.
Shares of fast moving electrical goods maker Havells India shed 0.54% to Rs 925, with the stock reversing direction after hitting record high of Rs 952.90 in intraday trade.
Dhanuka Agritech surged 3.69% to Rs 246.15 after 1.99% equity changed hands in a bulk deal on BSE today, 16 April 2014. A bulk deal of 10 lakh shares was executed on Dhanuka Agritech counter at Rs 243.90 per share at 10:34 IST on BSE today, 16 April 2014.
Gujarat Pipavav Port rose 1.65% after the company said its board will meet on 17 April 2014, to consider revision in expansion plan and its commencement. The company made the announcement after market hours on Tuesday, 15 April 2014.
In the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged lower against the dollar as stocks fell. The partially convertible rupee was hovering at 60.375, compared with its close of 60.23/24 on Tuesday, 15 April 2014.
Private weather forecaster Skymet on Tuesday, 15 April 2014, said it expects the June-September monsoon to be below normal this year. It has forecast the monsoon at 94% (error margin of +/-4%) of the long period average (LPA) of 896 mm for the four-month period from June to September 2014. In terms of geographical risk, Skymet suggests that peninsular India will be at less risk through June, July, August and September (JJAS). There seems to be weakness in majority subdivisions in Northwest India viz. Gujarat, Saurashtra, Kutch, Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana and in West-Central India viz. East MP, West MP, Chhattisgarh, Vidarbha, Marathwada, Madhya Maharshtra, Konkan & Goa, North Interior Karnataka and Telangana during the whole season, Skymet said in a statement. August is expected to be the best month among the four, although negative. It appears that onset of the monsoon may be staggered this time, Skymet said.
Jatin Singh, CEO, Skymet said: "This weakness in monsoon could possibly be attributed to an evolving ENSO". The ENSO is a phenomenon wherein the Central and East Pacific ocean warms (El Niño) or cools (La Niña), in turn affecting the monsoon. El Niño is evolving as of now, but is expected to get arrested, Skymet said. There is only a 30% chance of this phenomenon getting stronger, it said. If this El Niño was amplifying, then there would be a stronger chance of drought, like in 2009, Skymet said. This does not seem to be the case at this point in time, it said. There is no clear signal about the emergence of Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) this year during monsoon, Skymet said.
According to Skymet, rains in June are expected at 90% of LPA (LPA = 174 mm). In July, the monsoon is expected at 94% of LPA (LPA = 285 mm). Rains in August are expected at 98% of LPA (LPA = 253 mm). Rains in September are expected at 90% of LPA (LPA = 184 mm).
The rate on inflation based all India general consumer price index (CPI) combined for urban and rural India accelerated to 8.31% (provisional) in March 2014, from 8.03% (final) in February 2014, led by increase in food prices, data released by the government after trading hours on Tuesday, 15 April 2014, showed. Core CPI inflation which excludes food and fuel prices eased to 7.82% in March 2014, from 7.84% in February 2014.
CPI inflation eased to 9.5% for the year ended 31 March 2014 (FY 2014), from 10.2% for the year ended 31 March 2013 (FY 2013).
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) next undertakes monetary policy review on 3 June 2014. The RBI left its main lending rate viz. the repo rate unchanged at 8% after a monetary policy review on 1 April 2014, as consumer-price inflation eased to a two-year low and as the rupee firmed up against the dollar.
A major near term trigger for the stock market is the outcome of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The 36 days long voting process began on 7 April 2014 and will conclude on 12 May 2014. The results will be declared on 16 May 2014 after which India will get a new government. The term of the current Lok Sabha expires on 1 June and the new House has to be constituted by 31 May.
European stocks edged higher on Wednesday, 16 April 2014, with resource firms posting some of the biggest gains after better-than-expected growth data from China. Key benchmark indices in UK, France and Germany were up 0.36% to 0.81%.
A shock drop in March euro zone inflation to its lowest level since November 2009 was confirmed on Wednesday, keeping pressure on the European Central Bank to intervene should prices not rebound. The year-on-year inflation rate in the 18 countries sharing the euro was 0.5% in March against 0.7% in February, the European Union's statistics office Eurostat said. The biggest rise in prices was observed for tobacco, restaurants and bars as well as milk, cheese and eggs, while lower prices were recorded for heating oil, telecommunications and fuel.
Britain's unemployment rate fell more than forecast, dropping below the 7% threshold that Bank of England Governor Mark Carney set under the first stage of his forward-guidance policy. The jobless rate measured by International Labour Organization methods dropped to 6.9% in the three months through February from 7.2% in the quarter through January, the Office for National Statistics said in London today. The report also showed that wage growth accelerated in the period to 1.7%, matching the inflation rate in February.
Asian stocks edged higher on Wednesday, 16 April 2014, as China reported data on economic growth for the January-to-March period which was better than estimates. Key benchmark indices in Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Taiwan were up 0.06% to 3.01%. In South Korea, Seoul Composite index was off 0.06 points at 1,992.21.
In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.17% in choppy trade. China's expansion slowed to the weakest pace in six quarters, testing leaders' commitment to keep reining in a credit boom and pollution as risks mount of missing a 7.5% annual growth target. However, the growth was slightly higher than market expectations. Gross domestic product rose 7.4% in the January-to-March period from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics said today in Beijing.
Fixed-asset investment in non-rural areas of China rose 17.6% in the January-March period compared with the same period a year earlier, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed. The rise in the closely watched indicator of construction activity was slower than the 17.9% increase recorded in the January-February period.
Retail sales in China rose 12.2% in March from a year earlier, accelerating from a 11.8% on-year rise for January and February, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed. Retail sales also increased 1.23% in March from February. In February, they rose 0.71%.
China's industrial production grew 8.8% in March, slightly below market expectations of 9% growth.
Trading in US index futures indicated that the Dow could advance 68 points at the opening bell on Wednesday, 16 April 2014. US stocks rose in choppy trade on Tuesday, 15 April 2014, as earnings from Coca-Cola Co. and Johnson & Johnson overshadowed concerns that tensions in Ukraine are worsening.
The latest US economic data showed manufacturing in the New York region grew at a slower pace in April while the cost of living in the US rose more than projected in March as food and rents became more expensive. Confidence among US homebuilders rose less than forecast in April, as sales and prospective buyer traffic stagnated, showing the residential real estate market struggled to improve after a harsh winter.
The US Federal Reserve is considering further steps to force big banks to hold more capital, and sees a case for other stability-enhancing measures for more shadowy areas of Wall Street as well, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Tuesday. The Fed has been pushing banks to strengthen their balance sheets since the 2007-2009 financial crisis, and last week joined other regulators in requiring the eight largest US banks to increase their capital levels by some $68 billion in total.
She cited a 2010 study by the Basel Committee, an international standard-setting body, that suggested tighter standards would provide economic benefits.
The United States is in the process of implementing new international capital and liquidity standards known as Basel III, which will be phased in between 2015 and early 2019. The rules are meant to help banks weather short-term funding crises.
Yellen said the US central bank's staff was "actively considering" whether even more needed to be done to address risks in the so-called short-term wholesale funding market, which is a significant source of funding for firms.
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) next undertakes monetary policy review at a two-day meeting on 29-30 April 2014. The Federal Reserve on 19 March 2014 decided after the conclusion of a monetary policy review to trim its monthly bond purchases by $10 billion to $55 billion.

FOREIGN MARKET

Asia Pacific Market: Stocks mostly up on positive offshore cues, China stimulus hopes
Headline indices of the Asia Pacific share market closed modest higher on Wednesday, 16 April 2014, as risk appetite buying aided by another day of rebound in US stocks overnight and slightly better than expected Chinese growth data. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 1% to 138.63.
US equities ended higher for the second consecutive day yesterday, aided by positive corporate earnings results from Coca Cola Co. and Johnson & Johnson. Technology stocks, meanwhile, witnessed some gains on value-buying. Dow Jones ended higher by 0.6% and S&P 500 rose by 0.7%.
China's gross domestic product expanded at 7.4% year-on-year in the first quarter, the slowest rate of growth since September 2012, and below both the 7.7% growth posted in the year to December and the central government's official annual target of about 7.5% growth, but narrowly beat consensus forecasts of 7.3%. The slowdown in the Chinese economic growth to the weakest pace in six quarters reinforced prospects for stimulus from the Beijing. Other data from China saw industrial production rose 8.8% yoy in March while fixed assets rose 17.6% yoy and retail sales rose 12.2% yoy.
However, gain on the regional market were limited on rising tensions in Ukraine and on caution ahead of American housing and industrial activity data later in the global day.
Among Asian bourses, Japanese share market finished sharply higher, as bargain buying spurred across the board after last week's steep fall, a weaker yen, and a big rally in shares of SoftBank. Risk sentiments in Tokyo bolstered further after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda on Wednesday reiterated the positive outlook for future inflation rates, saying that Japan can achieve its 2% price stability target from the end of fiscal 2014 through to March 31, 2016. The benchmark Nikkei 225 added 3.01% to finish at 14,417.68, while the Topix index of all first-section shares tacked on 2.68% to 1,166.55.
Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda told lawmakers at the Lower House Financial Affairs Committee that the aggressive easy policy launched last April is steadily exerting its intended effect, as expected. He added that Japan's economy is on a smooth path toward achieving the 2% price stability target. Kuroda also repeated the standard BOJ view that the core consumer price inflation rate is likely to remain around 1.25% on year for some time before increasing again and eventually moving to 2%.
SoftBank was the single biggest positively-weighted Nikkei component, surging 8.5% after earnings at Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba--in which SoftBank owns a 37% stake--showed that profits more than doubled in its fourth quarter to over $1.3 billion. Yahoo Japan Corp. advanced 4.3%.
In Australia, Australian share market finished modest higher, on the back of better than expected Chinese economic growth data, with resources, industrials and mining stocks led rally. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 and the broader All Ordinaries each rose by 0.6% from prior day to finish at 5420.30 and 5412.60, respectively.
BHP Billiton shares grew by 0.4% to A$37.94 after the mining giant increased full year iron ore guidance by 5 million tonnes. The miner said today that production of its biggest money-spinner would now reach 217 million tonnes in the 2014 financial year rather than 212 million tonnes. Full year guidance for copper was maintained at 1.7 million tonnes despite improved performance at Escondida in Chile.
Fortescue Metals Group shares rose 1.2% to A$5.395 despite revealing a set of March quarter results that were weaker than market expectations. The miner believes it can run its operations at sprint capacity during the June quarter to ensure the full year target of 127 million tonnes is met. That will require Fortescue to ship a massive 41.6 million tonnes in the June quarter; a rise of about 32% above the 31.5 million tonnes that were shipped in the March quarter.
Shares in wealth manager Challenger Financial were up 4.8% to A$6.40 after the company reported assets under management increased 1% over the March quarter to A$49.5 billion, up 21% year-on-year. Challenger Life annuity sales for the March 2014 quarter were $496 million, an increase of 29% on the prior corresponding period (pcp), the company reported. Retail annuity sales were A$478 million, an increase of 35% on pcp, with strong growth achieved in both term and lifetime annuity products.
In China, Mainland China share market finished slight higher, on the back of stimulus speculation after China's economic growth slowed to the weakest pace in eighteen months. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index, which tracks both A and B shares, closed 3.52 points higher at 2105.12, after hitting an intraday high of2112.05 and low of 2092.16.
Among SSE sectors, 6/10 sectors of the SSE index declined, with consumer staple sector was top loser in the SSE sectoral peers, with a 0.5% fall, while telecommunication services was top gainer in the SSE sectoral peers, with a 0.5% gain. Elsewhere, financial was up 0.5% and utilities up 0.3% while material sector was down 0.5% and healthcare down 0.3%.
Shares of financial sector gained the most in the Shanghai market, with brokerage houses led rally. Founder Securities advanced 3% to 5.92 yuan after saying 2013 net income almost doubled from a year ago. Guoyuan Securities Co. rose 2% to 9357 yuan. Haitong Securities Co. advanced 0.9% to 9.89 yuan.
Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth Hi-Tech Co., China's biggest producer, slumped 4.1% to 20.14 yuan after full-year net income fell 72% from a year earlier.
China National Chemical Engineering Co., which builds power plants, dropped 1.9% to 6.27 yuan.
In Hong Kong, shares in the city's market finished the session tad higher after trimming gain late afternoon, as investors cashed in intraday profit, spur by above expectation China's 1Q GDP, on caution ahead of American housing and industrial activity data later in the global day. The benchmark Hang Seng index closed 24.75 points higher at 22696.01, after touching intraday peak of 22866.56.
Among the HK 50 blue chips, 28 fell and 18 rose, with remaining four stocks closed steady. Lenovo Group advanced 2.2% to HK$9.34, contributing 4-points gains to the benchmark Index and becoming the best-performing blue chip. China Resources Power Holdings Co declined 3% to HK$20.90, contributing 4-points losses to the benchmark Index and becoming the worst-performing blue chip.
Shares of MMG declined 1.5% to HK$1.96 despite the mining company kept its annual production and cost guidance is unchanged. MMG announced 39,635 tonnes and 9,449 tonnes of copper cathode production and copper production for the first quarter of 2014, an increase of 15% and 16% from a year earlier and up 1% and 23% quarter-on-quarter. Production of zinc and lead amounted to 133,929 tonnes and 18,544 tonnes, up 5% and 49% year-on-year but down 27% and 25% quarter-on-quarter. MMG said annual production and cost guidance is unchanged and it is on track to deliver 173,000 to 186,000 tonnes of copper and 600,000 to 625,000 tonnes of zinc in 2014.
GOME Electrical Appliances shares climbed up 2.9% to HK$1.44 after the electronic retailer said it repurchased on-market 10 million shares yesterday at HK$14 million, equivalent to HK$1.4 per share.
Sinopoly Battery shares jumped 5.6% to HK$0.57 after the company said it agreed to acquire the entire issued share capital of Giant Industry Holdings Limited at HK$190 million from Kam Chi Yip.
Shares of China Southern Airlines declined 1.6% to HK$2.43 after the civil aviation company forecasted to post record a net loss of about Rmb300 million to Rmb350 million for the first quarter of 2014, as compared to the net profit of Rmb57 million for the same period last year. During the first quarter of 2014, the financial expenses of China Southern Airlines substantially increased as compared with the corresponding period of 2013 due to the exchange losses (as compared with the exchange gains for the corresponding period of 2013) resulting from the substantial depreciation of Renminbi.
In India, key benchmark indices extended losses and hit fresh intraday low in afternoon trade. The market sentiment was hit adversely after private weather forecaster Skymet on Tuesday, 15 April 2014, said it expects the June-September monsoon to be below normal this year. The forecast of below-normal rains triggered worries that food price inflation will edge up. Increase in global crude oil prices also hit sentiment on the domestic bourses adversely. At 13:15 IST, the S&P BSE Sensex was down 115.96 points or 0.52% to 22,368.97. The index declined 136.55 points at the day's low of 22,348.38 in afternoon trade, its lowest level since 7 April 2014. The index rose 48.69 points at the day's high of 22,533.61 in early trade.
Increase in crude oil prices triggered concerns about India's current account deficit and fiscal deficit. Brent oil rose edged higher on Tuesday, 15 April 2014, after news that Ukrainian armed forces launched military operations in the east of the country. The June contract for Brent settled 29 cents higher at $109.36 a barrel on Tuesday, 15 April 2014. India imports majority of its crude oil requirements.
IT major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) dropped ahead of its Q4 results today, 16 April 2014. Infosys declined after the company's American depositary receipt (ADR) dropped on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, 15 April 2014, after the company announced its Q4 March 2014 results and issued guidance for the year ending 31 March 2015 (FY 2015). Index heavyweight and cigarette major ITC edged higher in volatile trade. Interest rate sensitive realty stocks edged lower.
Elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region, New Zealand's NZX50 added 0.28%. Taiwan's Taiex index added 0.08%. Singapore's Straits Times index rose 0.21%. Indonesia's Jakarta Composite Index rose 0.07%. South Korea's KOSPI index was down 0.06 point. Malaysia's KLSE Composite fell 0.46%.

TOP 50

BSE Sensex on Apr 16,2014 22277.23 [-207.70]
Prev. Day Close:22484.93 Change:-0.92%
CodeRankCompanyMkt. Cap.EquityFVLast PriceTrd.Value*% of Mkt.Cap*Last traded DateLast traded timeVolume
532540  TCS LTD. 429934.65 195.87 2195.00 32.57 .01 Apr 16,2014 148382 
500325  RELIANCE 304163.36 3232.17 10 941.05 21.22 .01 Apr 16,2014 225536 
500875  ITC LTD. 275101.19 795.32 345.90 11.09 .00 Apr 16,2014 320733 
500312  ONGC CORPN 271123.16 4277.74 316.90 5.02 .00 Apr 16,2014 158519 
533278  COAL INDIA 182984.95 6316.36 10 289.70 5.31 .00 Apr 16,2014 183224 
500209  INFOSYS LTD 181253.11 287.12 3156.40 37.23 .02 Apr 16,2014 117954 
500180  HDFC BANK 173991.10 479.81 725.25 5.71 .00 Apr 16,2014 78712 
500112  STATE BANK 146309.06 746.57 10 1959.75 43.66 .03 Apr 16,2014 222777 
532174  ICICI BANK 141176.87 1155.01 10 1222.30 18.28 .01 Apr 16,2014 149520 
507685 10  WIPRO LTD. 141050.56 493.27 571.90 15.21 .01 Apr 16,2014 265873 
CodeRankCompanyMkt. Cap.EquityFVLast PriceTrd.Value*% of Mkt.Cap*Last traded DateLast traded timeVolume
500010 11  HDFC 135869.29 312.11 870.65 6.12 .00 Apr 16,2014 70297 
500570 12  TATA MOTORS 132348.83 643.72 411.20 14.53 .01 Apr 16,2014 353358 
500696 13  HIND UNI LT 131394.84 216.27 607.55 4.64 .00 Apr 16,2014 76378 
532454 14  BHARTI ARTL 129235.94 1998.70 323.30 5.03 .00 Apr 16,2014 155664 
524715 15  SUN PHARMA. 127295.95 207.12 614.60 9.07 .01 Apr 16,2014 147571 
500510 16  LARSEN & TOU 116898.77 185.48 1260.50 16.47 .01 Apr 16,2014 130658 
532555 17  NTPC LTD 101089.34 8245.46 10 122.60 4.89 .00 Apr 16,2014 398791 
532281 18  HCL TECHNO 98587.53 139.90 1409.40 8.92 .01 Apr 16,2014 63319 
532792 19  CAIRN IND* 69174.58 1910.90 10 362.00 5.12 .01 Apr 16,2014 141350 
532215 20  AXIS BANK 67283.26 469.97 10 1431.65 14.92 .02 Apr 16,2014 104215 
CodeRankCompanyMkt. Cap.EquityFVLast PriceTrd.Value*% of Mkt.Cap*Last traded DateLast traded timeVolume
530965 21  INDIAN OIL 63369.50 2427.95 10 261.00 1.00 .00 Apr 16,2014 38240 
500247 22  KOTAK MAH.BK 60443.16 385.16 784.65 33.80 .06 Apr 16,2014 430829 
532538 23  ULTRATECH CM 60249.16 274.24 10 2196.95 1.46 .00 Apr 16,2014 6666 
500520 24  MAH & MAH 60069.86 307.94 975.35 9.60 .02 Apr 16,2014 98422 
526371 25  NMDC LTD 59093.85 396.47 149.05 1.70 .00 Apr 16,2014 114008 
532500 26  MARUTISUZUK 58449.46 151.04 1934.90 5.85 .01 Apr 16,2014 30218 
532977 27  BAJAJ AUTO 57885.57 289.37 10 2000.40 2.87 .00 Apr 16,2014 14335 
500295 28  SSLT 56314.48 296.47 189.95 11.52 .02 Apr 16,2014 606465 
532898 29  POWER GRID 56239.59 5231.59 10 107.50 2.08 .00 Apr 16,2014 193448 
500188 30  HINDUS.ZI 54548.62 845.06 129.10 .93 .00 Apr 16,2014 71967 
CodeRankCompanyMkt. Cap.EquityFVLast PriceTrd.Value*% of Mkt.Cap*Last traded DateLast traded timeVolume
500820 31  ASIAN PAINTS 51274.04 95.92 534.55 1.75 .00 Apr 16,2014 32653 
512599 32  ADANI ENTER 47483.87 109.98 431.75 212.98 .45 Apr 16,2014 4933003 
532155 33  GAIL (I) LTD 46642.01 1268.48 10 367.70 4.50 .01 Apr 16,2014 122356 
500790 34  NESTLE (I) 46082.97 96.42 10 4779.40 1.15 .00 Apr 16,2014 2402 
532822 35  IDEA CELL 45761.10 3319.63 10 137.85 4.23 .01 Apr 16,2014 307032 
500182 36  HEROMOTOCO 43296.96 39.94 2168.10 4.06 .01 Apr 16,2014 18733 
500124 37  DR.REDDY'S 43194.34 85.05 2539.35 3.54 .01 Apr 16,2014 13937 
500103 38  BHEL 42979.86 489.52 175.60 7.57 .02 Apr 16,2014 431110 
500257 39  LUPIN LTD. 42734.76 89.68 953.05 6.50 .02 Apr 16,2014 68211 
532432 40  UNITD SPR 41730.78 145.33 10 2871.45 33.69 .08 Apr 16,2014 117321 
CodeRankCompanyMkt. Cap.EquityFVLast PriceTrd.Value*% of Mkt.Cap*Last traded DateLast traded timeVolume
532755 41  TECH MAH 40866.58 233.53 10 1749.95 8.19 .02 Apr 16,2014 46785 
500470 42  TATA STEEL 40183.81 971.21 10 413.75 34.46 .09 Apr 16,2014 832834 
532921 43  ADANI PORTS 40138.27 414.01 193.90 20.65 .05 Apr 16,2014 1064941 
534816 44  BH INFRATEL 36954.71 1889.30 10 195.60 .05 .00 Apr 16,2014 2675 
532134 45  BNK OF BAROD 32733.20 432.15 10 757.45 16.29 .05 Apr 16,2014 215008 
500530 46  BOSCH LTD 32305.11 31.40 10 10288.25 .99 .00 Apr 16,2014 966 
500425 47  AMBUJA CEME 32103.26 309.28 207.60 8.23 .03 Apr 16,2014 396571 
500087 48  CIPLA LTD. 31859.07 160.58 396.80 3.96 .01 Apr 16,2014 99844 
500547 49  BHARAT PET. 31472.06 723.08 10 435.25 7.18 .02 Apr 16,2014 164969 
500096 50  DABUR (I) 31214.02 174.38 179.00 .74 .00 Apr 16,2014 41448 

* During market trading hours, as traded values are not available on a real time basis, an approximation is done. The traded value is calculated as follows, using the last traded price:
Traded Value (Rs. cr) = (Last Price * Volume) /100,00,000 
This value will be updated with the actual figures, once trading closes and end-of-day data is available.