After trading in tight range for most part of the session, the Indian equity benchmarks have snapped the day with about half a percent gains. Sentiments remained upbeat with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley terming the GST bill revolutionary and hoping all the political parties would pass the related bills through consensus in the current session of Parliament. Allaying apprehension of spike in prices of goods and commodities after the roll out of the GST, Jaitley said the tax rates will be kept at the current levels so as not to have any inflationary impact. Further, the rupee strengthened to a 17-month high of 64.95 against the dollar, which also helped improve the risk appetite. Adding optimism among investors, Minister of State for Planning Rao Inderjit Singh said that long-term strategic plans are being prepared for overall development of the country and consultations with states and other stakeholders have been completed with respect to these proposed initiatives. Some support also came with the report that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 6415.38 crore on March 28, 2017. However, gains remained capped with the report that Reserve Bank of India is likely to keep policy rates on hold this year but there are risks tilted towards a hike in 2018. According to the report, inflation is likely to remain within the RBI's target range of 2-6%, but India is still some time away from bringing inflation to its 4% target sustainably. Meanwhile, shares of major automobile majors took a hit as investors turned cautious of the Supreme Court's verdict on BS-III vehicles. A bench of justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said that health of millions of citizens was more important that commercial interests of manufacturers and directed the government not allow registration of polluting BS-III vehicles after March 31.
On the global front, Asian equity markets ended mostly higher on Wednesday, as investors remained cheerful after Wall Street steadied overnight as data showed US consumer confidence soaring to a more than 16-year high. US consumer confidence surged amid growing labour market optimism, while the trade deficit in goods narrowed sharply in February. Some support also came as oil extended overnight gains, buoyed by disruptions to Libyan crude production and a more positive OPEC attitude towards extending production cuts. However, investors remained cautious as British Prime Minister Theresa May signed a letter on Tuesday to European Council President Donald Tusk notifying the European Union of Britain's intention to leave the bloc. The letter is due to be delivered to Brussels later on Wednesday, triggering years of uncertain negotiations that will test the endurance of the European Union. Japanese shares closed higher as gains in energy stocks were offset by losses in the banking and realty sectors. However, Chinese shares fell slightly amid concerns about liquidity and tighter regulation to curb speculation in the housing market.
Back home, after getting a firm start, the local benchmarks soon gathered momentum and traded with around quarter a percent gains through the morning session. Second half of the session saw the key indices capitalize on the momentum further and spurt to session's highest levels in dying hour. Finally, the NSE's 50-share broadly followed index Nifty, got buttressed by around half a percent to settle above the crucial 9,100 support level, while Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensitive Index- Sensex accumulated over one hundred and twenty points and closed above the psychological 29,500 mark. The market breadth remained pessimistic, as there were 1182 shares on the gaining side against 1669 shares on the losing side, while 237 shares remained unchanged.
Finally, the BSE Sensex surged 121.91 points or 0.41% to 29531.43, while the CNX Nifty was up by 43 points or 0.47% to 9,143.80.
The BSE Sensex touched a high and a low of 29554.39 and 29439.42, respectively and there were 16 stocks on gainers side as against 14 stocks on the losers side on the index.
The broader indices ended in green; the BSE Mid cap index gained by 0.14%, while Small cap index was up by 0.31%.
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Telecom up by 1.58%, Consumer Durables up by 1.29%, Bankex up by 0.78%, Capital Goods up by 0.77% and Metal up by 0.71%, while Realty down by 0.57%, Healthcare down by 0.51%, Auto down by 0.49%, Utilities down by 0.05% and Oil & Gas down by 0.01% were the top losing indices on BSE.
The top gainers on the Sensex were SBI up by 1.98%, ICICI Bank up by 1.81%, Bharti Airtel up by 1.25%, Hindustan Unilever up by 1.07% and Coal India up by 1.07%. On the flip side, Hero MotoCorp down by 3.15%, Sun Pharma down by 1.42%, Tata Motors down by 0.70%, Mahindra & Mahindra down by 0.66% and Maruti Suzuki down by 0.58% were the top losers.
Meanwhile, in an attempt to tackle mounting losses incurred by the central public sector undertakings (CPSEs), the government think-tank NITI Aayog is preparing a fresh cabinet note recommending closure of 7 more sick CPSEs including Hindustan Cable, Tyre Corporation, HMT Watches, Birds Jute and Export (BJEL), and Central Inland Water Transport Corporation. The Aayog, tasked with preparing a roadmap for sick public sector undertakings, had earlier identified 26 sick CPSEs for closure, of which 7 received cabinet nod.
The fresh list would be in addition to the CPSEs which were approved for closure by Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA). The NITI Aayog has also identified five CPSEs which can neither be revived nor sold, for liquidation. In a third tranche, it has identified 12 more CPSEs for strategic sale such as National Textile Corporation, Hindustan Antibiotics, Scooters India and Hindustan Flurocarbons. Earlier, the NITI Aayog in two tranches had recommended strategic sale of 15 CPSEs, three units of SAIL and one unit of National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC).
For the next financial year, the government has budgeted to raise Rs 72,500 crore via disinvestment in CPSEs, of which Rs 15,000 crore is to come from strategic sale. In the FY17, the government expects to raise close to Rs 45,500 crore from its disinvestment programme but so far has raised about Rs 30,000 crore through minority share sale by way of offer for sale (OFS), share buyback and CPSE exchange traded fund (ETF).
The CNX Nifty traded in a range of 9,153.15 and 9,109.10. There were 28 stocks in green as against 23 stocks in red on the index.
The top gainers on Nifty were Bharti Infratel up by 6.07%, SBI up by 2.34%, ICICI Bank up by 1.91%, HCL Tech up by 1.64% and Hindalco up by 1.53%. On the flip side, Hero MotoCorp down by 2.68%, Sun Pharma down by 1.80%, Aurobindo Pharma down by 1.33%, Grasim Industries down by 0.91% and Tata Motors DVR down by 0.82% were the top losers.
The European markets were trading mostly in green; Germany’s DAX increased 50.25 points or 0.41% to 12,199.67, France’s CAC increased 5.28 points or 0.1% to 5,051.48, while UK’s FTSE 100 decreased 3.68 points or 0.05% to 7,339.74.
Asian equity markets ended mostly in green on Wednesday as the yen weakened on downbeat retail sales data and oil extended overnight gains, buoyed by disruptions to Libyan crude production and a more positive OPEC attitude towards extending production cuts. Japanese shares closed marginally higher as gains in energy stocks were offset by losses in the banking and realty sectors. While the yen continued to slide, retail sales data disappointed investors. Sales rose 0.2 percent in February from the previous month, official data showed, missed forecasts for 0.3 percent growth. Though, Chinese shares fell slightly amid concerns about liquidity and tighter regulation to curb speculation in the housing market.
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