Sensex Today Ends 282 Points Higher; Nifty Hits Fresh High

After opening on a positive note, Indian share markets gained momentum as the session progressed and ended the day higher.

The equity benchmark closed near record highs after the NSE Nifty index made a new peak of 22,187 during Monday's trade.

At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 282 points (up 0.4%).

Meanwhile, the NSE Nifty closed higher by 82 points (up 0.4%).

Cipla, ICICI Bank, and Bajaj Auto were among the top gainers today.

Coal India, L&T, and Wipro on the other hand, were among the top losers today.

The GIFT Nifty ended at 22,170 up by 57 points.

Broader markets ended the day higher. The BSE Mid Cap ended 0.3% higher and the BSE Small Cap index ended 0.7% higher.

Sectoral indices are trading mixed, with the socks power sector, FMCG sector, and auto sector witnessing the most buying. Meanwhile, stocks in the IT sector, realty, and metal sectors witnessed selling pressure.

Shares of Bosch, Maruti Suzuki, and Coforge hit their respective 52-week highs today.

The rupee is trading at 83.01 against the US$.

Gold prices for the latest contract on MCX are trading 0.3% higher at Rs 62,036 per 10 grams.

Meanwhile, silver prices are trading 0.8% lower at Rs 71,520 per 1 kg.

MRPL Surges 18%

In news from the energy sector, shares of Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals (MRPL) rallied 18% on 19 February, extending monthly gains to nearly 60% in February and a total of 33% in January. Year-to-date, it has surged 113% with increased volumes.

The stock surged despite downgrades from several analysts after its Q3 earnings performance.

MRPL reported a net profit of Rs 3.1 bn in Q3 versus Rs 1.8 bn estimated against a loss of Rs 2 bn on-year and Rs 10.5 bn on-quarter. Year-on-year earnings growth was on account of higher GRM at US$ 5.0 a barrel versus $3.9 a barrel in Q2FY24.

Crude throughput was 4.4 million tonnes, down 1% YoY but up 38% QoQ due to maintenance shutdown in Q2FY24.

MRPL achieved its highest-ever monthly gross crude input of 1558tmt/month in Dec 2023. Additionally, the company procedures and processes 20tmt of High Sulphur Fuel Oil for the first time in the quarter.

The company began advertising for 1,800 retail outlets, set to be completed soon, with plans for an additional 500 outlets in the next three years. Phase 1 focuses on South India, followed by expansion into West and North India in Phase II.

Recently, MRPL signed a 5-year gas supply deal with BPCL. BPCL to supply 0.43 MMSCMD of RLNG to MRPL's Mangaluru facility from Cochin terminal.

MRPL aims to use RLNG for hydrogen production, power generation, and steam. This shift to natural gas will help lower emissions and carbon footprint by replacing naphtha, diesel, and fuel oil.

Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) is a Schedule `A' Miniratna Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoP&NG) Government of India (GoI).


Nifty Pharma Index Nears All-Time High

Moving on to news from the pharma sector, the Nifty Pharma index was hovering around its 52-week high at 19,045.75, rising 175 points or 0.9% in the afternoon trade on 19 February.

Over the past year, the index has delivered impressive returns of more than 60% following a robust breakout in November 2023.

Biocon (up 4.8%), Granules India (3.8%), Natco Pharma (3.7%), Sanofi India Ltd (2.8%), and Aurobindo Pharma, which has gained 2%, are among the notable gainers.

The Nifty Pharma is in an overbought territory on both weekly and monthly timeframes.

Why LIC share price is rising

Moving on to news from the insurance sector, Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India shares traded more than 2% higher on 19 February afternoon after the insurer announced that it received refund orders worth Rs 217.4 bn.

The refund was for the 2012-2019 period. The total refund value is Rs 254.6 bn and the company was pursuing the balance with the Income Tax Department.

The insurer also a new product, Amritbaal, on 17 February. It is a non-linked, non-participating, individual, and savings life insurance plan.

In the December quarter, the state-run insurer reported strong earnings, largely aided by an increase in net income from investments and growth in net premium income.

LIC reported a 49% on-year increase in net profit at Rs 94.4 bn. Its net premium income during the quarter grew 4.7% YoY to Rs 1.2 tn.

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

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