Indian equity benchmarks traded on a lackluster note throughout the day and ended modestly in red even as prospects of economic stimulus in the United States lifted the Wall Street to fresh record highs overnight. The benchmarks -- BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty -- snapped the four days winning streak due to sell-off in Auto and Realty counters. The domestic sentiments turned weak as WPI inflation for January jumped to 5.25 percent from 3.39 percent in the previous month. The market reacted to Tata Motors’ Q3 profit after tax on consolidated basis which fell sharply by 96 percent year-on-year to Rs 112 crore, which dragged the Auto sector. The fall in the Q3 profit was impacted by big loss in domestic business and operational weakness in JLR. All eyes are now on Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen’s semiannual testimony that may give a hint for further rate hike. The equity benchmarks made a weak start and traded slightly in red in early deals with a private report that India’s economic growth is likely to remain muted in the first quarter of this calendar year with the GDP likely to grow at 5.7% in the January-March period amid subdued activity. According to the global financial services major, following subdued growth in the first quarter, a V-shaped recovery is on the cards due to remonetisation, wealth redistribution and the lagged effects of lower lending rates. Separately, global rating agency, Moody’s Investor Services in its latest report has said that the Indian government’s decision to remove a high denomination currency notes from circulation in November 2016 has negatively impacted the performance of Indian auto asset backed securities (ABS) in the short term, leading to a 1.3 percent decline in collections for November and December 2016. WPI inflation in January spiked to 5.25 percent against 3.39 percent in previous month and also ahead of expectations of 4.16 percent. The downside was however limited with retail inflation easing to 3.17 percent in January, its lowest level in at least five years, mainly due to a drop in the annual food inflation, which stood at 0.53 percent last month, lower than 1.37 percent in December. The street also took note of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s statement that the Modi government's emphasis is on bold decision making and a clean economy with business friendly environment, the returns of which can be spent on the poor.
On the global front, Asian markets closed mostly lower, ahead of testimony by the head of the Federal Reserve, which could highlight the likelihood of two or more US interest rate hikes this year. Japanese shares ran into trouble after Toshiba Corp delayed an anxiously-awaited earnings release, including details of a multibillion dollar charge related to cost overruns at its US nuclear arm. China’s main stock indices were largely unchanged, after data showed the country’s inflation picked up to multi-year highs and reinforced a shift by Beijing to a tighter policy stance. European markets were trading mostly higher as investors eyed a slew of corporate earnings.
The BSE Sensex ended at 28308.44, down by 43.18 points or 0.15% after trading in a range of 28263.45 and 28393.42. There were 11 stocks advancing against 19 stocks declining on the index. (Provisional)
The broader indices ended in red; the BSE Mid cap index was down by 0.75%, while Small cap index was down by 0.72%. (Provisional)
The only gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were TECK up by 0.24% and Bankex up by 0.03%, while Auto down by 1.81%, Realty down by 1.08%, Metal down by 1.03%, PSU down by 0.79% and Consumer Durables down by 0.63% were the losing indices on BSE. (Provisional)
The top gainers on the Sensex were Bharti Airtel up by 3.04%, GAIL India up by 2.95%, ONGC up by 1.93%, Reliance Industries up by 1.79% and ICICI Bank up by 1.17%. (Provisional)
On the flip side, Tata Motors down by 6.81%, Hero MotoCorp down by 2.15%, Hindustan Unilever down by 1.90%, Maruti Suzuki down by 1.34% and Power Grid down by 1.33% were the top losers. (Provisional)
Meanwhile, amid increased global protectionism incidence, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that India remained unaffected amid the global slowdown and protectionism talk in the developed countries. He added that such talk is heard only in the developed economies and not in India which indicates that the country is determined to grow with focus on investments.
Finance Minister said that “not a single sound or even 'a whisper' of protectionism is being heard in India and that this itself is a tribute to the fact that the country is willing to accept investments and tune its policies.”
FM pointed out that 'We are not satisfied with the tag of being the fastest economy in the world. We think we have a potential to do better'. He added that the policy-makers were under pressure because of peoples’ impatience to see India grow at a faster rate and eradicate poverty. Further, Jaitley suggested that the state governments should work together with the central government to continue path of growth, adding that in spite of India's growth being pegged at 7 to 7.5 per cent growth rate, there is scope for greater growth.
The CNX Nifty ended at 8784.15, down by 20.90 points or 0.24% after trading in a range of 8772.50 and 8820.45. There were 20 stocks advancing against 31 stocks declining on the index. (Provisional)
The top gainers on Nifty were GAIL India up by 2.96%, Bharti Airtel up by 2.96%, Idea Cellular up by 2.10%, Eicher Motors up by 1.90% and Reliance Industries up by 1.86%. (Provisional)
On the flip side, Tata Motors - DVR down by 8.98%, Tata Motors down by 5.21%, BPCL down by 3.30%, Zee Entertainment down by 2.17% and Hero MotoCorp down by 1.94% were the top losers. (Provisional)
The European markets were trading in green; UK’s FTSE 100 increased 3.16 points or 0.04% to 7,282.08, Germany’s DAX increased 0.49 points or 0% to 11,774.92 and France’s CAC increased 2.56 points or 0.05% to 4,890.75.
Asian equity markets ended mostly lower on Tuesday ahead of Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen's testimony before Congress today and tomorrow. Investors are waiting to see whether Yellen will offer clues to the timing of the next interest-rate increase amid signs of inflation steadily firming up. Japanese shares ended in the red after the yen strengthened on news that Trump's embattled national security adviser Michael Flynn has resigned over revelations that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about his contacts with Russia. Meanwhile, Chinese shares ended flat after data showed China's consumer price inflation accelerated to a 32-month high in January and producer prices climbed at the fastest pace since 2011, reinforcing market expectations the central bank will continue with monetary-tightening policies.
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