Indian equity benchmarks traded on a lackluster note oscillating between positive and negative terrain and ended the session with modest gains. The markets traded on a lackluster note ahead of exit polls scheduled later for the day. Actual results of assembly elections of five states will be announced on March 11. As the Budget session of Parliament resumed today, the street expects that there will be a breakthrough on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill and that issue will be discussed in a democratic manner. The rates under the GST regime are unlikely to be out before April-end as the government wants to avoid any tax evasion attempt by companies. The market made a weak start in early deals as traders tailed the weakness in the regional counterparts and the mixed trading on Wall Street overnight, ahead of US Federal Reserve policy meeting next week. Investors took note that the government and its investment promotion agency, Invest India, are in talks with close to 300 companies - both Indian and foreign -to channelize investment of close to $62 billion (over Rs 4 lakh crore) into the country, which may help create over 17 lakh jobs. Some support came with CRISIL report that Indian economy is likely to see a mild recovery in FY18. The agency expects the GDP growth to rise to 7.4%, up 30bps in FY18, adding that pent-up consumption demand is likely to support growth post demonetization.
On the global front, Asian markets closed mostly lower, with regional sentiments driven by inflation figures from China which showed consumer prices under control, but producer prices up sharply. Consumer prices in China fell to the lowest in two years at an annual pace of 0.8%, which compared to a gain of 1.7% expected as food prices dropped and eased pressure after a 2.5% gain in January. China’s producer price inflation accelerated to its fastest pace in nearly nine years in February and by more than expected as prices of steel and other raw materials extended a torrid rally, boosting profits for industrial companies worldwide. European markets were trading in red as investors remained cautious ahead of the European Central Bank’s monetary policy decision, due later in the trading session. Traders were concerned about the upcoming elections in France in next 2-3 months.
The BSE Sensex ended at 28930.83, up by 28.89 points or 0.10% after trading in a range of 28815.02 and 28986.72. There were 18 stocks advancing against 12 stocks declining on the index. (Provisional)
The broader indices ended in red; the BSE Mid cap index was down by 0.36%, while Small cap index was down by 0.18%. (Provisional)
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Auto up by 0.56%, Consumer Durables up by 0.43%, Consumer Disc up by 0.31%, Bankex up by 0.31% and IT up by 0.10%, while Metal down by 0.81%, Healthcare down by 0.72%, Oil & Gas down by 0.71%, Utilities down by 0.56% and Energy down by 0.52% were the losing indices on BSE. (Provisional)
The top gainers on the Sensex were Maruti Suzuki up by 1.51%, SBI up by 1.35%, Tata Motors up by 1.18%, Axis Bank up by 1.14% and Asian Paints up by 0.97%. (Provisional)
On the flip side, Dr. Reddy’s Lab down by 5.06%, Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone down by 2.15%, GAIL India down by 2.10%, Wipro down by 2.00% and ONGC down by 1.48% were the top losers. (Provisional)
Meanwhile, in order to avoid expenditure rush in the last month of the fiscal, the Finance Ministry has asked other ministries not to breach financial propriety and cap spending in March to 15 per cent ceiling. It has also asked various government departments and ministries, which are not on the Public Financial Management System (PFMS) portal, to update it about their expenditure and revenue collections on a daily basis.
While noting that regular sanctions and bills should be put on the PFMS portal by March 20, the Finance Ministry has said that only “very few” expenditure requests would be processed after that. It has also asked the CBDT and CBEC to update the daily tax collection figures to the expenditure department and added that the last quarter expenditure must be limited to actual procurement of goods and services and reimbursement of expenditure already occurred.
The Fiscal deficit, the gap between government expenditure and revenue collection, budgeted at Rs 5.33 lakh crore, or 3.5 per cent of GDP for the current fiscal ending March, shot up to Rs 5.64 lakh crore, or 105.7 per cent of the full-year target, at the end of January.
The CNX Nifty ended at 8928.70, up by 4.40 points or 0.05% after trading in a range of 8899.50 and 8945.80. There were 27 stocks advancing against 24 stocks declining on the index. (Provisional)
The top gainers on Nifty were Maruti Suzuki up by 1.62%, SBI up by 1.19%, Axis Bank up by 1.18%, Ambuja Cement up by 0.98% and Tata Motors up by 0.91%. (Provisional)
On the flip side, Dr. Reddy’s Lab down by 5.09%, GAIL India down by 2.46%, Idea Cellular down by 2.21%, Wipro down by 2.16% and Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone down by 2.09% were the top losers. (Provisional)
The European markets were trading in red; UK’s FTSE 100 decreased 36.6 points or 0.5% to 7,298.01, Germany’s DAX decreased 26.42 points or 0.22% to 11,940.89 and France’s CAC decreased 6.09 points or 0.12% to 4,954.39.
Asian equity markets ended mostly lower on Thursday as strong US private payrolls data added to expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next week. Lower commodity prices and mixed inflation data out of China also dampened investor sentiment. While copper hovered near a one-month low on selling triggered by a firmer dollar, oil prices recovered some lost ground in Asian deals after plunging more than 5 percent overnight to their lowest levels this year, on data showing production cuts from OPEC and other exporters have not been enough to reduce US supplies. China's producer price index jumped more than expected by 7.8% in February from the previous year, the fastest pace since September 2008. In contrast, consumer prices slowed from a year ago, to 0.8%, its slowest pace since January 2015, largely due to falling food prices. Japanese shares snapped a four-day losing streak as upbeat US data from payroll processor ADP helped weaken the yen against the dollar and pushed exporter shares higher. Further, China stocks closed at two-week lows as energy shares tumbled on diving oil prices. Renewed weakness in the yuan and weaker-than-expected consumer inflation data also sapped investors' appetite for risk.
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