Indian equity benchmarks traded on a firm note throughout the day and ended the session with gain of around three-fourth of a percent. Industry heavyweight Reliance Industries remained the top gainer, as investors remained bullish on its telecom as well as energy prospects. Buying was witnessed across the counters barring IT stocks, as investors hoped the ruling BJP would win the ongoing elections in Uttar Pradesh. The Uttar Pradesh state elections will have a key influence on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s chances of clinching a second term in 2019. The election results are due out on Saturday. The market made a positive start in early deals, as traders received encouragement with the GST council moving a step closer towards implementing the Goods and Services Tax (GST) from July 1, approving two crucial supporting legislations of central GST law (CGST) and the integrated GST (IGST) law for this ambitious tax reform. It will again meet on March 16, to clear the state GST law (SGST) and the union territory GST law (UTGST). Meanwhile, supported by government’s various initiatives to improve ease of doing business, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country’s services sector increased by 77.6 percent to $7.55 billion during April- December 2016-17, as compared to $ 4.25 billion in the same period last year. The overall foreign inflows in the country increased by 22 percent and stood at $35.84 billion during April-December 2016-17. Separately, some support also crept in after Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan expressed his confidence that India’s gross domestic product (GDP) will achieve 8% growth and continue its momentum for the next financial year, even after demonetising about 85% of all currency in circulation last November.
On the global front, Asian markets closed mostly higher, amid a missile test by North Korea. Japan said three missiles landed inside its exclusive economic zone and that it would not tolerate the hermit state’s provocative actions. Premier Li Keqiang sounded a cautious note at the annual meeting of parliament that began Sunday and said that China would expand its economy by around 6.5 percent, compared to the growth target of 6.5 to 7 percent set last year. European shares were trading in red with bank stocks led the market lower due to slump in Deutsche Bank shares after the German heavyweight lender unveiled a 8 billion euro cash call.
Back home, most of Information Technology (IT) stocks closed in red, as uncertainty over the sector worsened with the US suspending the processing of premium H1B visas citing a backlog of applications. The move would adversely impact domestic software exporters as well as multinational firms who send engineers to work on projects in the US.
The BSE Sensex ended at 29058.07, up by 225.62 points or 0.78% after trading in a range of 28856.12 and 29070.20. There were 23 stocks advancing against 7 stocks declining on the index. (Provisional)
The broader indices ended in green; the BSE Mid cap index was up by 0.61%, while Small cap index was up by 0.41%. (Provisional)
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Energy up by 2.02%, Oil & Gas up by 1.35%, Auto up by 1.29%, Power up by 1.17% and Utilities up by 1.14%, while IT down by 0.16% was the sole loser on BSE. (Provisional)
The top gainers on the Sensex were Reliance Industries up by 3.64%, Tata Motors up by 2.37%, Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone up by 1.96%, Bharti Airtel up by 1.87% and SBI up by 1.77%. (Provisional)
On the flip side, TCS down by 0.82%, Sun Pharma down by 0.52%, Dr. Reddy’s Lab down by 0.49%, HDFC down by 0.43% and Tata Steel down by 0.32% were the top losers. (Provisional)
Meanwhile, country’s import bill can be reduced by $10 billion in five years and carbon emissions can be cut by using domestic coal gas as a feedstock for producing urea and other chemicals. Coal Secretary Susheel Kumar has said that the country should use coal to produce gas adding that the indigenous coal gasification will not only reduce the emission intensity but would also lessen the adverse environmental impact.
The Coal Secretary further said that if the country is able to gasify coal, then it can be used for production of chemicals, including urea and methanol, it would lead to the reduction in import bill manifold by 2030 and will reduce the country’s dependence on petroleum and natural gas.
Susheel Kumar noted that at present, import expenditure of four-five chemicals like urea, methanol, ammonia and ascetic acid is around $5.5 billion and if we are able to replace this import by indigenous coal gasification, our dependence on petroleum and natural gas will be reduced. The government is planning to come up with a series of pilot projects in areas like coal gasification and coal-to-polychemicals next fiscal and once the projects are successful, the government will push for commercial use of technology for utilisation of country's huge coal reserves.
The CNX Nifty ended at 8963.90, up by 66.35 points or 0.75% after trading in a range of 8914.00 and 8967.80. There were 38 stocks advancing against 13 stocks declining on the index. (Provisional)
The top gainers on Nifty were Reliance Industries up by 3.85%, Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone up by 2.41%, Tata Motors up by 2.33%, SBI up by 1.94% and Bajaj Auto up by 1.90%. (Provisional)
On the flip side, Grasim Industries down by 1.62%, Aurobindo Pharma down by 1.08%, TCS down by 0.96%, Idea Cellular down by 0.95% and Tech Mahindra down by 0.64% were the top losers. (Provisional)
The European markets were trading in red; UK’s FTSE 100 decreased 27.06 points or 0.37% to 7,347.20, Germany’s DAX decreased 69 points or 0.57% to 11,958.36 and France’s CAC decreased 24.73 points or 0.5% to 4,970.40.
Asian equity markets ended mostly higher on Monday, despite prospects of Fed rate hike this month. On Friday, Fed chair Janet Yellen said the central bank is set to raise rates at the next meeting on March 14-15 if jobs and inflation remains firm. Chinese stocks ended higher as technology shares jumped after Premier Li Keqiang identified innovation as a key part of the economy's restructuring at the opening of the annual meeting of the country's parliament. A flood of news from the opening of the National People's Congress (NPC) meeting over the weekend was interpreted by investors as positive, despite a cut in China's economic growth target this year to around 6.5 percent, from a range of 6.5-7 percent in 2016. Meanwhile, Japanese shares fell in thin trade as the yen firmed up and as global geopolitical tensions rose after North Korea fired four missiles, three of which landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone.
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