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Stocks may see volatility; GDP data eyed
(08:31, 31 May 2018)

Trading of Nifty 50 index futures on the Singapore stock exchange indicates that the Nifty could rise 47 points at the opening bell. Trading could be volatile as traders roll over positions in the F&O segment from the near month May 2018 series to June 2018 series. The May 2018 F&O contracts expire today, 31 May 2018.

On the domestic macro front, the government will announce data on first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) today, 31 May 2018. The Indian economy expanded 7.2% year-on-year in the last three months of 2017, from an upwardly revised 6.5% growth in the previous period.

Overseas, Asian stocks rose as political turmoil in Italy that had roiled global financial markets showed signs of easing. US stocks rebounded yesterday, 30 May 2018 as investors judged the market reaction to Italy's political turmoil overwrought.

Global stocks were battered earlier in the week after Italy's two anti-establishment parties scrapped plans to form a coalition. That raised the prospect of a general election, stoking fears such a vote will effectively be a referendum on the country's euro membership.

A degree of calm, however, returned, with the two anti-establishment parties renewing efforts to form a coalition government rather than force Italy into holding elections for the second time this year.

Back home, key benchmark indices logged small losses in a highly volatile session of trade yesterday, 30 May 2018. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, fell 43.13 points or 0.12% to settle at 34,906.11. The Nifty 50 index fell 18.95 points or 0.18% to settle at 10,614.35. Markets across the globe were impacted by Italy's political crisis and fresh fears of a trade war between US and China.

The trading activity on that day showed that the foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 1286.91 crore yesterday, 30 May 2018, as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 492.46 crore yesterday, 30 May 2018, as per provisional data.

Among corporate news, ICICI Bank will be watched after it announced that it will start an enquiry into whistleblower complaint. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 30 May 2018.

The board of directors, at its meeting held on 29 May 2018, decided to institute an enquiry to be headed by an independent and credible person, to examine and enquire into an anonymous whistle blower complaint, disclosing certain information, alleging in substance that bank's MD & CEO had not adhered to provisions relating to Code of Conduct of the bank and legal and regulatory provisions relating to conflict of interest over a period of time, as also alleging quid pro quo in the course of her work in dealing with certain customers/borrowers of the bank.

The scope of enquiry would be comprehensive and include all relevant matters arising out of and in the course of examination of the facts and wherever warranted, use of forensics/email reviews and recordal of statements of relevant personnel etc. The enquiry would also cover all connected matters in the course of the investigation to bring the matter to a final close.

In keeping with the Whistle Blower Policy of the bank, the board has mandated its Audit Committee to take all further actions in the matter to operationalize this decision — including in particular, appointment of an independent and credible person as head of the enquiry, determining the terms of reference of the enquiry, the period which will be covered by the enquiry etc. The audit committee will also, in consultation with the head of the enquiry, make arrangements to assist him with independent legal and other professional support as may be required.

Net profit of ONGC rose 36.3% to Rs 5915.12 crore on 10.4% increase in net sales to Rs 23969.83 crore in Q4 March 2018 over Q4 March 2017. The result was announced after market hours yesterday, 30 May 2018.

The net realisation for the quarter stood at $66.71 a barrel, compared to $54.91 a barrel during Q4 March 2017.

Meanwhile, the company's crude oil production, including condensate, dropped by 3% to 6.2 million tonne during the quarter under review, while during the same period last year, it produced 6.39 MT. The yearly production of crude oil also saw a marginal decline of 0.4%.

Overall gas production during the fourth quarter increased by 2.2% to 6.07 billion cubic meter (bcm), while it was seen at 5.94 bcm during the Q4 March 2017. For the entire financial year 2017-2018, the company's gas production increased by 5.8% to 24.61 bcm.

Ultratech Cement will be watched after the Committee of Creditors (CoC) of Binani Cement (BCL) constituted in accordance with the provisions of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2016 (Code), in its meeting held on 28 May 2018, approved the resolution plan submitted by UltraTech Cement and has issued a letter of intent (LoI) to the company for acquisition of BCL. Upon consummation of this transaction, Ultratech Cement's cement capacity (including its overseas operations) will stand augmented to 116.15 MTPA including the recently announced acquisition of cement units of Century Textiles & Industries. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 30 May 2018.

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