The government's decision to pass on the hike in petrol prices seems to have gone well with investors, despite lingering concerns over inflation, interest rates and growth. While the major markets in Asia closed lower today, the equity markets in India managed to buck the trend and closed well above the dotted line.
While the BSE-Sensex closed higher by around 274 points (1.7%), gains on the NSE-Nifty came in at around 86 points. The BSE Mid cap and BSE Small cap indices too gained around 1% each. Select telecom, energy and banking heavyweights evinced maximum investor interest. The rupee's slide against the US dollar was also partially arrested today.
Most other Asian indices closed lower today, with European indices too trading lower currently. The rupee was placed Rs 55.89 to the dollar at the time of writing.
Investors in India seem to be taking comfort from the cool-off in oil prices and the arrest of the rupee's decline against the US dollar. Oil prices today lingered near seven-month lows at around US$ 90 a barrel in Asia, as Europe's debt crisis continues to fester and China's economy continues to slow. Crude prices have plunged about 15% from US$ 106 three weeks ago because economic growth and oil demand in Europe, the U.S. and China are likely to be muted this year. Political turmoil this month in Greece has also spooked global investors, who fear the country may leave the euro currency, which could spark financial and economic chaos in Europe.
Zee Entertainment announced the results for the fourth quarter of financial year 2011-12. The company has reported 9.3% YoY growth in sales and 18.6% YoY fall in net profits. A slowdown in advertising, which fell by 12% YoY, impacted overall revenue growth. Operating profits were down 28% YoY during the quarter. This was due to a huge jump in other operating expenses of 72% YoY. Other income registered an increase of 78.7% YoY in the March quarter. Lower depreciation and interest charges could not help much and the media company reported a fall of 18.6% YoY in net profits for the March quarter. Profits fell by 1.4% YoY for the full year. Zee Entertainment declared a dividend of Rs 1.50 per share, implying a dividend yield of 1.2% at current prices.