It turned out to be a lackadaisical performance from the Indian equity indices on Friday, as they failed to snap the session in the positive territory and ended on flat note as traders avoided taking long positions ahead of the end of the fiscal year 2017. Sentiments remained subdued with the report that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is likely to keep key interest rates unchanged on April 6, 2017. The RBI shifted to a neutral stance from accommodative in February and this, in turn, may prompt the central bank to hold rates in the ensuing meet early next month. However, losses remained capped with the report that India's consumer confidence is highest compared to other emerging market peers. According to the Credit Suisse Emerging Consumer Scorecard, India has the highest consumer confidence score among the eight emerging markets surveyed -- Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and Turkey. India's buoyant consumer sentiment was supported by consumers' greater confidence in their current and future finances, as well as relatively lower inflation expectations. Some support also came with Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das’ statement that the GST will give a boost to the real economy at the expense of the parallel shadow economy and the indirect tax regime would raise gross domestic product (GDP) growth by 1.5-2 percentage points. Das also said that the tax net will be widened under the new regime and this may result in reduction of general tax rate. With GST rollout looking imminent from July 1 after the Lok Sabha's approval, the Centre and states will sit together today to finalise rules and regulations of the new indirect tax regime. The Lok Sabha on Wednesday cleared four supplementary GST legislations -- Central GST (CGST), Integrated GST (IGST), Union Territory GST (UTGST) and the Compensation law.
On the global front, Asian markets ended mostly lower on Friday, as investors turned cautious ahead to next week's highly anticipated meeting between the leaders of US and China. Concern grew in the region after US President Donald Trump said that the meeting with China will be a very difficult one in that we can no longer have massive trade deficits and job losses. Further, Japanese market ended lower, as exporters lost ground despite a weaker yen and mixed domestic data. Japan's core consumer prices rose 0.2% in February year-on-year, marking the fastest growth in nearly two years. However, household spending fell 3.8% in February from a year earlier, missing estimates for a 1.7 percent fall. In South Korea, the Kospi slipped after the country's February factory output fell 3.4 percent from the previous month, the worst in over 8 years. Meanwhile, European stocks declined in early trade after eurozone inflation dropped more than expected, seen as easing pressure on the European Central Bank to scale back its stimulus measures.
Back home, after getting a weak start, the local benchmarks traded in tight range below neutral line with moderate losses for most part of the session as market participants remained on the sidelines lacking conviction amid weak global cues. However, final hour buying ensured that the key indices shut shops near neutral line. Finally, the NSE’s 50-share broadly followed index - Nifty ended flat, while Bombay Stock Exchange’s Sensitive Index - Sensex shed twenty-six points and closed above the psychological 26,600 mark. However, the broader markets showed some resilience and settled on a positive note, outperforming their larger peers by quite a margin. The market breadth remained optimistic, as there were 1625 shares on the gaining side against 1118 shares on the losing side, while 230 shares remained unchanged.
Finally, the BSE Sensex declined 26.92 points or 0.09% to 29620.50, while the CNX Nifty steady at its previous close of 9173.75.
The BSE Sensex touched a high and a low of 29687.64 and 29552.61, respectively and there were 14 stocks on gainers side against 16 stocks on the losers side on the index.
The broader indices made a positive closing; the BSE Mid cap index ended higher by 0.79%, while Small cap index was up by 0.72%.
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Energy up by 2.52%, Oil & Gas up by 1.85%, Metal up by 1.13%, Consumer Durables up by 1.05% and Capital Goods up by 0.98%, while Telecom down by 0.92%, Bankex down by 0.73%, Realty down by 0.53%, FMCG down by 0.36% and IT down by 0.31% were the top losing indices on BSE.
The top gainers on the Sensex were Reliance Industries up by 3.93%, NTPC up by 1.59%, Larsen & Toubro up by 1.28%, Maruti Suzuki up by 1.18% and Tata Steel up by 0.94%. On the flip side, Axis Bank down by 1.65%, ICICI Bank down by 1.53%, HDFC Bank down by 1.47%, HDFC down by 1.37% and Hindustan Unilever down by 1.03% were the top losers.
Meanwhile, in wake of rising imports of downstream aluminium products in the country, the Union Minister Piyush Goyal has said that the government is considering all options, including the possibility of imposing minimum import price (MIP) on certain categories of aluminium products to protect the domestic industry.
The Aluminium Association of India had asked the government for imposition of MIP on aluminium. As per a study report prepared by Metallurgical & Engineering Consultants (India) Limited (MECON), India’s state-run engineering consulting firm, commissioned by the Aluminium Association of India to study solutions for protecting the domestic aluminium industry, loss of primary aluminium producers was Rs 943 crore in FY2014-15, which increased to Rs 4,283 crore during FY2015-16.
The primary aluminium producers were facing loss due to an increase in production cost and slump in London Metal Exchange (LME) price of aluminium from average $ 2,317.50/MT in 2011-12 to $ 1591.82/MT in 2015-16. Further, there was an increase in import from China amid weak domestic demand.
The CNX Nifty traded in a range of 9,191.70 and 9,152.10. There were 27 stocks in green against 24 stocks in red on the index.
The top gainers on Nifty were Reliance Industries up by 3.93%, Indian Oil Corporation up by 2.71%, Hindalco up by 2.23%, ACC up by 2.19% and NTPC up by 1.69%. On the flip side, HDFC Bank down by 1.79%, ICICI Bank down by 1.78%, Axis Bank down by 1.69%, Grasim Industries down by 1.69% and HDFC down by 1.32% were the top losers.
The European markets were trading in red; UK’s FTSE 100 decreased 34.63 points or 0.47% to 7,334.89, Germany’s DAX decreased 5.43 points or 0.04% to 12,251.00 and France’s CAC decreased 12.83 points or 0.25% to 5,076.81.
Most of the Asian markets ended mostly in red on Friday, as investors digested a raft of regional economic data and looked ahead to next week's highly anticipated meeting between the leaders of US and China. Concern grew in the region after US President Donald Trump said that the meeting with China “will be a very difficult one in that we can no longer have massive trade deficits and job losses.” Earlier in the day, the Chinese market moved higher after official data showed activity in China's vast manufacturing sector expanded at a faster pace than expected in March with a PMI score of 51.8, beating forecasts for 51.7 and up from 51.6 in February. The Japanese market lost all the early gains and ended at their lowest levels in more than seven weeks as exporters lost ground despite a weaker yen and upbeat domestic data. Japan's core consumer price inflation rose for a second consecutive month in February.
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