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Maruti Suzuki and Axis Bank help Indian stocks snap a five-day losing streak

A man wearing a protective mask walks past the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) building in Mumbai, India, March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

On Tuesday, Indian shares ended their worst losing streak in more than ten months, boosted by top domestic carmaker Maruti Suzuki’s surge on better-than-expected margins and Axis Bank’s strong earnings.

The news: The blue-chip NSE Nifty 50 index (.NSEI) closed 0.75 per cent higher at 17,277.95, while the S&P BSE Sensex (.BSESN) rose 0.64 per cent to 57,858.15, following five straight sessions of heavy losses due to foreign investor selling.

  • The indexes had fallen as much as 1.9 per cent earlier in the session, in line with global peers, due to tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine and expectations of a more hawkish Federal Reserve in the United States.
  • Maruti Suzuki (MRTI.NS) reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit. However, its stock rose 6.8 per cent as a series of price increases last year to offset rising material costs helped improve margins.
  • Axis Bank (AXBK.NS) finished 6.8 per cent higher on its best day in nearly a year after the private-sector lender beat quarterly profit estimates.
  • Reliance Industries (RELI.NS), India’s most valuable company, finished 0.2 per cent lower after dropping as much as 3 per cent earlier in the session.

Facts & Figures: The Nifty IT index (.NIFTYIT), the biggest victim of the recent sell-off, finished down 0.33 per cent, marking its seventh consecutive session of losses.

  • Individual stocks rose 3.2 per cent, led by India’s No. 2 telecom operator Bharti Airtel (BRTI.NS), which said it would consider a preferential share issue. According to local media, Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O) may subscribe to the issue.
  • Cipla (CIPL.NS), a Nifty component, closed up 1.5 per cent ahead of its quarterly results.

The Indian markets will be closed on Wednesday for a holiday and will reopen on Thursday.

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