Indian Share Markets Open Marginally Higher; Wipro Up 7% Post Q4 Results

Asian stock markets are trading on a positive note today. The Nikkei is trading up by 0.2% while the Hang Seng is up 0.3%. The Shanghai Composite is trading higher by 0.5%.

China's economy grew at a record pace in the first quarter, official data showed, expanding 18.3% from a year earlier as the recovery from the coronavirus slump accelerated.

The growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) was slower than the 19% forecast by economists in a Reuters poll and followed by 6.5% growth in the fourth quarter last year.

It was the strongest growth since at least 1992 when official quarterly records started.

In US stock markets, Wall Street indices jumped overnight to reach record levels as traders eyed a much stronger-than-expected print on consumer spending and a sharp improvement in the number of new jobless claims.

Traders digested a key print on the strength of the US consumer on Thursday, with the Commerce Department's March retail sales showing the best monthly rise in retail sales since May 2020.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 300 points, or about 0.9%, to reach a record intraday and closing high and break above the 34,000 level. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq also rose to reverse declines from a day earlier, with tech stocks leading both indexes higher by more than 1%.

Back home, Indian share markets have opened on a positive note, following the trend on SGX Nifty.

Market participants are tracking Mindtree's share price as the company is scheduled to announce its quarterly results today.

The BSE Sensex is trading up by 131 points. Meanwhile, the NSE Nifty is trading higher by 40 points.

Asian Paints and Wipro are among the top gainers today. ICICI Bank, on the other hand, is among the top losers today.

Both, the BSE Mid Cap index and the BSE Small Cap index have opened up by 0.7%.

Sectoral indices are trading on a mixed note with stocks in the metal sector and IT sector witnessing buying interest.

Energy stocks and banking stocks, on the other hand, are trading in the red.

Shares of Dabur and Emami hit their 52-week highs today.

The rupee is trading at 74.78 against the US$.

Gold prices are trading down by 0.1% at Rs 47,110 per 10 grams. Meanwhile, silver prices are trading down by 0.3% at Rs 68,368 per kg.

In news from the IT sector, Wipro on Thursday reported a consolidated net profit of Rs 29.7 billion for the March quarter of the financial year 2020-21 (Q4FY21), up 27.8% year-on-year (YoY), as against Rs 23.3 billion posted in the same period last year.

On a quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) basis, the profit increased marginally by 0.1%, compared to Rs 29.7 billion reported in the December quarter of FY21.

Wipro's consolidated revenue from operations climbed 3.4% YoY to Rs 162.5 billion in the recently concluded quarter. This stood at Rs 157.1 billion in the corresponding period last year.

Wipro's IT services business clocked revenue at Rs 163.3 billion for the quarter, growing 3.9% QoQ.

The company said the fourth quarter was its best in the last 10 years.

Wipro said it added one client in over US$ 100-million category, three in over US$ 75-million band, and two in the over US$ 50-million category.

Wipro's share price has opened the day up by 5.4%.

Moving on to news from the FMCG sector, Dabur is among the top buzzing stocks today.

FMCG company Dabur India's market capitalization crossed the Rs 1 trillion mark for the first time on Thursday. Its shares rose over 2% to close at a lifetime high of Rs 573, valuing the company at Rs 1.01 trillion.

Dabur is one of the world's largest ayurvedic and natural health care companies.

The company's fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) business led the growth with a 19.5% surge, with an underlying FMCG volume growth of 18.1% during the third quarter of 2020-21 (Q3FY21).

Dabur's share price has opened the day up by 0.5%.

In other news, retailers and FMCG makers say they have adequate stocks at stores and warehouses and are prepared to manage the situation in the wake of fresh restrictions being imposed by various states amid a surge in Covid-19 cases.

Some FMCG companies have already started building inventories and preponed supplies to retail outlets and stockists to ensure that consumers do not face any shortage.

Dabur said in view of the rising number of Covid-19 cases, it has started working towards building its inventory, both of finished goods as well as raw and packing material, from last month itself.

"We have preponed supplies to retail outlets and stockists to ensure that consumers do not face any shortage in the market," said Dabur India CEO Mohit Malhotra.

The company is also applying learnings from last year on streamlining the supply chain to ensure minimal disruption.

Kolkata-headquartered FMCG firm Emami said the weekend curfews will not have any major impact on the company.

V-Mart Retail CMD Lalit Agarwal said though the recent surge in coronavirus cases and restrictions would impact the business, it supports any such move by the government to check its spread further.

Future Group retailing brand Big Bazaar, which had recently given a push to its online sales by assuring two hours' instant delivery at the consumers' doorstep, said its staff is ready to handle the situation and deliver the goods to buyers.

We will keep you updated on the latest developments in this space. Stay tuned.

Speaking of the FMCG sector, have a look at the chart below which shows the performance of BSE Sensex and BSE FMCG index since 2009:

While Sensex has offered 393% returns since 2009, the BSE FMCG index has gone up a staggering 532% returns over the same period.

Richa Agarwal, the lead Small Cap Analyst at Equitymaster, believes this outperformance could continue for many years.

With a rising population and standards of living, Indian's consumption demand for FMCG products will skyrocket over the coming years.

Disclosure: Equitymaster Agora Research Private Limited (Research Analyst) bearing Registration No. INH000000537 (hereinafter referred as 'Equitymaster') is an independent equity research ...

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