Indian equity benchmarks traded on a firm note throughout the day and ended in green on account of positive global cues, coupled with a strong rupee and higher crude oil prices. The buying in Realty and Consumer Durables stocks led to benchmarks end higher, but Nifty closed tad below 8800 level. The equity benchmarks made a gap-up opening and traded jubilantly in early deals ahead of RBI monetary policy later in the week. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will meet on Wednesday for its bi-month policy, whereby according to polls it is likely to cut the policy rate by a quarter percentage point. A conservative fiscal policy, easing inflation trajectory and short-term risks to growth will keep the door open for further easing. The Indian rupee strengthened against the US dollar tracking the gains in the local equity and Asian currencies markets. The rupee gained for the ninth consecutive session, its longest winning streak since June 2011. After four months of selling frenzy, overseas investors turned net buyers in February and pumped in over Rs 2,300 crore in the capital market over the last three sessions, enthused by clarity on FPI taxation. The latest inflow followed a net pullout of Rs 80,310 crore from equity and debt together in the past four months (October-January). According to depository data, Foreign Portfolio Investors (FPIs) infused a net sum of Rs 1,246 crore in equities during February 1-3 and another Rs 1,098 crore in the debt segment, translating into a total inflow of Rs 2,344 crore. Traders took some encouragement with Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das’ statement expressing confidence that the economy will grow upwards of 7 per cent next fiscal. He reiterated that there will be transient impact of demonetisation on the economy, but it will not spill over to the next fiscal. Taking a dig at global rating agencies for failing to upgrade India's sovereign rating despite significant improvement in macroeconomic parameters, Das said that agencies are several steps behind from reality and are missing out on something which only they can best explain.
On the global front, Asian markets ended higher, with regional data sets and the policies of US President Donald Trump in focus. A private survey out of China showed activity in the services sector remained strong in January as companies reported a solid increase in orders. Hong Kong market rebounded drawing inspiration from a firmer Wall Street and helped by rising capital inflows from the mainland. European shares were trading in green as investors prepare for a busy week of corporate earnings. According to a survey, more than half of British business leaders believe the vote to leave the European Union has had a negative impact on their companies but most firms are confident they can survive the change.
Back home, select sugar stocks closed in green on reports that sugar prices climbed up by Rs 60 per quintal to trade at nearly six-year high at the wholesale market in the national capital following tight stocks positions amid speculative buying by stockist and bulk consumers. Moreover, lower output estimates by Indian Sugar Merchant Association (ISMA), too fulled surge in sugar prices.
The BSE Sensex ended at 28432.76, up by 192.24 points or 0.68% after trading in a range of 28340.39 and 28487.28. There were 19 stocks advancing against 11 stocks declining on the index. (Provisional)
The broader indices ended in green; the BSE Mid cap index was up by 0.99%, while Small cap index was up by 0.90%. (Provisional)
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Realty up by 1.65%, Consumer Durables up by 1.40%, FMCG up by 1.25%, Bankex up by 1.03% and Power up by 0.90%, while Metal down by 0.47% was the sole loser on BSE. (Provisional)
The top gainers on the Sensex were Sun Pharma up by 3.99%, ICICI Bank up by 3.41%, Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone up by 1.76%, Axis Bank up by 1.66% and Hindustan Unilever up by 1.38%. (Provisional)
On the flip side, Cipla down by 1.50%, Dr. Reddy’s Lab down by 1.48%, ONGC down by 0.97%, Coal India down by 0.48% and Power Grid down by 0.25% were the top losers. (Provisional)
Meanwhile, pointing to the extremely challenging business environment and stabilising steel industry, the Union Minister of Steel, Chaudhary Birendra Singh has said that the industry must prepare itself to face global competition as protectionist measures like minimum import price (MIP) and anti dumping cannot be continued for an indefinite period.
The minister said that steel industry is stabilising and if everything is stabilised then government may have to think of which are the components that could again be put in the MIP list. Further, the Steel minister said that such measures taken by government have remained helpful to the steel industry which has suffered on account of glut in the global market. He also noted improvement in import and export statistics of steel, stating that steel import has come down to 34 per cent and export is 58 per cent higher as compared to last year.
On MIP measure which gives relief to domestic steel producers against cheap in-bound shipments, He said that imposition of MIP on steel products has also reduced to 19 from 173. Steel makers had urged the government to extend MIP on certain products, saying its imposition has marginally improved the industry's viability after a long period of subdued prices.
The CNX Nifty ended at 8796.10, up by 55.15 points or 0.63% after trading in a range of 8770.20 and 8814.10. There were 32 stocks advancing against 19 stocks declining on the index. (Provisional)
The top gainers on Nifty were Ambuja Cement up by 4.25%, ACC up by 4.21%, Sun Pharma up by 4.13%, ICICI Bank up by 3.11% and Aurobindo Pharma up by 3.05%. (Provisional)
On the flip side, Dr. Reddy’s Lab down by 1.73%, Cipla down by 1.36%, Hindalco down by 1.15%, Tata Motors - DVR down by 1.09% and ONGC down by 1.05% were the top losers. (Provisional)
The European markets were trading in green; UK’s FTSE 100 increased 13.21 points or 0.18% to 7,201.51, Germany’s DAX increased 3.73 points or 0.03% to 11,655.22 and France’s CAC increased 10.39 points or 0.22% to 4,835.81.
Asian equity markets ended higher on Monday, with Japanese market moving up as gains among banking stocks after US President Donald Trump signed two directives Friday, rolling back key financial regulations of the Obama era. Solid US jobs data, higher oil prices on fears of new US sanctions against Iran and expectations that the Federal Reserve will refrain from raising interest rates next month also supported regional sentiment. The US economy added a stronger-than-expected 227,000 jobs in January against expectations of 175,000. The unemployment rate inched up to 4.8 percent from 4.7 percent in December and the annual rate of average hourly employee earnings growth slowed to 2.5 percent from 2.8 percent, pushing back the need for Fed officials to hike interest rates at their March meeting. Further, Chinese shares ended higher, even as a private business survey showed growth in China's services sector lost momentum at the start of 2017. The Caixin China General Services Business Activity Index fell to 53.1 in January from December's 17-month high of 53.4.
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