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Market ends sharply higher
17-May-19   15:32 Hrs IST

The market ended with sharp gains on Friday, supported by strength in banking and auto shares. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rose 588.37 points or 1.57% to 37,981.85, as per the provisional closing data. The Nifty 50 index rose 150.05 points or 1.33% to 11,407.15, as per the provisional closing data.

Investors lapped up shares ahead of key exit poll for the current Lok Sabha elections due on 19 May and results on 23 May. Exit polls will offer early clues to the final poll results.

The market opened higher and held firm at higher levels in morning trade. Shares hovered in a range in mid-morning trade. Indices marched ahead in afternoon trade and hit fresh intraday high in late trade.

Among secondary barometers, the BSE Mid-Cap index was up 1.09%. The BSE Small-Cap index was up 0.47%. Both these indices underperformed the Sensex.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was positive. On BSE, 1391 shares rose and 1121 shares fell. A total of 146 shares were unchanged.

Private sector banks were in demand. Kotak Mahindra Bank (up 3.72%), RBL Bank (up 3.54%), Axis Bank (up 2.39%), ICICI Bank (up 2.33%), HDFC Bank (up 2.26%), City Union Bank (up 1.02%), IndusInd Bank (up 1%) and Federal Bank (up 0.51%), rallied. Yes Bank was down 2.9%.

Auto shares rallied. Hero MotoCorp (up 3.94%), Maruti Suzuki India (up 3.36%), Eicher Motors (up 3.11%), Mahindra & Mahindra (up 2.39%), Ashok Leyland (up 1.69%), TVS Motor Company (up 1.27%) and Tata Motors (up 0.71%), edged higher. Escorts was down 0.24%.

Bajaj Auto rose 3.53%. The company's profit after tax rose 21% to Rs 1306 crore on 10% increase in turnover (net) to Rs 7828 crore in Q4 March 2019 over Q4 March 2018. The result was announced during trading hours today, 17 May 219.

IT major Infosys fell 1.25%. The company announced yesterday, 16 May 2019, that its board of directors has approved the Infosys Expanded Stock Ownership Program 2019 that links long term employee incentives with shareholder value creation. Subject to shareholder approval, this unique plan proposes to allocate 50 million shares (or 5 crore shares) equating 1.15% of the company's equity shares to a broad base of employees, which will vest on challenging performance criteria.

This program builds on the strong legacy of meritocracy that was established by the founders, and strengthens the company's efforts towards wealth creation for employees, enhanced shareholder returns and delight for customers. The company has been a pioneer in India, rewarding its employees through stock ownership programs starting in 1994, including the 2015 Incentive Compensation Plan. The Infosys Expanded Stock Ownership Program 2019, under which grants will vest based on performance, aims to align employee interest with shareholder value creation, incentivize, attract and retain key talent, and reward employee performance with ownership.

The grants allocated to employees over a period of seven years will vest based on challenging performance criteria of a) relative Total Shareholder Return (TSR) against an industry peer group, b) relative TSR against domestic and global indices and c) operating lead performance metrics such as total revenue and digital revenue growth, and operating margins.

Overseas, shares in Europe traded lower while Asian shares reversed early gains and ended lower on Friday amid signs of an escalation in Sino-US trade tensions. Market sentiment has been hurt by US government's move to block China's Huawei Technologies from buying vital American technology, drawing a sharp rebuke from Beijing.

US stocks rose on Thursday after strong earnings from Walmart and Cisco Systems and positive economic data helped quell some of the fears surrounding the ongoing US-China trade war.

On the data front, the Commerce Department said housing starts rose by 5.7% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.235 million. Weekly jobless claims, meanwhile, fell to 212,000 last week. Further, the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index in May rose to a four-month high of 16.6 after registering 8.5 in April. Any reading above zero indicates improving conditions.

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