Indian equity benchmarks pared most of their early gains and ended the session just above the neutral line. The trade witnessed profit booking in late afternoon session but was short-lived after buying emerged in Telecom and TECK counters which pushed the indices above neutral line. The market made a positive start in early deals as traders took support on account of the predictions of several exit polls, that was made public on Thursday, suggested that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will either comfortably cross the majority mark of 202 in the 403-seat UP Assembly, or come close to it. In other three states of Goa, Uttrakhand and Manipur too, some of the exit polls gave edge to BJP, with only setback likely to be Punjab where the ruling SAD-BJP combine was seen decimated by most of the exit poll results. Investors probably are now waiting for the actual results of the assembly elections that are set to be announced on Saturday. The government’s revenue collection from indirect tax during April-February grew by an impressive 22.2 percent while that of direct tax rose by 10.7 percent. Total direct and indirect tax collections at February-end stood at Rs 13.89 lakh crore, 81.5 percent of the target of Rs 16.99 lakh crore, as per the revised estimate for 2016-17.
However selling crept in after credit rating agency, CRISIL in its latest annual India outlook report said that the Indian economy is likely to see a mild recovery due to pent-up consumption demand after demonetization and expects the GDP growth to rise to 7.4 per cent, up 30 basis points in FY18. The agency also said that the economy is witnessing a series of resets in growth expectations, ecosystems and in industries which is likely to have more long-term benefits than short term. It said that ample headroom in capacity utilization, stretched balance sheets, and just a moderate pick-up in demand will mean revival in the private sector investment cycle would get deferred to fiscal 2019. Separately, ICRA in its latest report has said that higher oil and gold imports are likely to widen the current account deficit (CAD) to $30 billion or 1.2 percent of GDP in the fiscal 2017-18 from $20 billion or 0.9 percent of GDP in 2017, arresting the trend of moderation recorded for four consecutive years since fiscal 2014.
On the global front, Asian markets closed mostly higher, as investors eyed US rate hike next week. China’s central bank governor told a news conference that making monetary policy neutral would help China’s supply-side reforms, reinforcing expectations that liquidity would be relatively tight. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said that China will not devalue its currency to stimulate exports. China’s exports for January and February combined rose 4.0 percent from the same period last year, while imports surged 26.4 percent, suggesting solid improvement in demand domestically and abroad. European markets were trading in green as comments by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi continued to support the markets.
Back home, shares of gold loan companies Muthoot Finance and Manappuram Finance closed in red after RBI issues notification that NBFCs cannot lend more than Rs 20,000 in cash against gold. Instead, they have to issue cheque on a loan amount above that.
The BSE Sensex ended at 28944.45, up by 15.32 points or 0.05% after trading in a range of 28851.04 and 29076.63. There were 14 stocks advancing against 16 stocks declining on the index. (Provisional)
The broader indices ended in red; the BSE Mid cap index was down by 0.34%, while Small cap index was down by 0.24%. (Provisional)
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Telecom up by 0.69%, TECK up by 0.46%, Capital Goods up by 0.40%, IT up by 0.38% and Consumer Durables up by 0.29%, while Metal down by 0.81%, Power down by 0.67%, Energy down by 0.64%, Utilities down by 0.62% and Oil & Gas down by 0.56% were the losing indices on BSE. (Provisional)
The top gainers on the Sensex were Larsen & Toubro up by 1.01%, TCS up by 1.01%, Bharti Airtel up by 1.00%, Hero MotoCorp up by 0.97% and Infosys up by 0.86%. (Provisional)
On the flip side, ICICI Bank down by 1.06%, NTPC down by 1.01%, Power Grid down by 0.75%, Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone down by 0.68% and Bajaj Auto down by 0.62% were the top losers. (Provisional)
Meanwhile, in a bid to make electronic payments more secure, the government has released the draft rules for transactions made through prepaid payment instruments (PPIs) like mobile wallets, smart cards and paper vouchers. The draft IT (Security of Prepaid Payment Instruments) Rules 2017, formulated by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) will ensure adequate integrity, security and confidentiality of electronic payments effected through PPIs. Till date, these instruments are not governed by norms or rules, as far as cyber security issues are concerned.
Furthermore, the PPI issuer will also need to establish a mechanism for monitoring, handling and follow-up of any cyber incidents and breaches. The rules also specify that every wallet issuer should review its security measures at least once a year, and after any major security incident or breach, or before a major change to its infrastructure or procedures. The last date for submitting comments on the draft is March 20.
The CNX Nifty ended at 8936.40, up by 9.40 points or 0.11% after trading in a range of 8903.95 and 8975.70. There were 22 stocks advancing against 29 stocks declining on the index. (Provisional)
The top gainers on Nifty were Bosch up by 3.32%, Bharti Airtel up by 1.33%, Bharti Infratel up by 1.26%, Yes Bank up by 1.13% and Infosys up by 1.11%. (Provisional)
On the flip side, Tech Mahindra down by 2.65%, BPCL down by 1.40%, Grasim Industries down by 1.34%, NTPC down by 1.14% and ICICI Bank down by 1.10% were the top losers. (Provisional)
The European markets were trading in green; UK’s FTSE 100 increased 30.1 points or 0.41% to 7,345.06, Germany’s DAX increased 60.07 points or 0.5% to 12,038.46 and France’s CAC increased 24.89 points or 0.5% to 5,006.40.
Asian equity markets ended mostly higher on Friday as oil prices rebounded from three-month lows and the European Central Bank upgraded its growth and inflation forecasts for the euro area, while signaling little urgency to ease policy again in the light of improving economic outlook. Japanese shares closed at its highest since December 2015 as exporters benefitted from the dollar hitting a six-week high against the yen, while investors waited for a US jobs report that could pave the way for a rate hike as early as next week. The all-important February jobs report is slated for release tonight after a glowing report from payroll processor ADP on Wednesday showed US businesses added the most jobs in three years last month. However, Chinese stocks closed slightly lower as the country's central bank skipped its open market operations for a second straight day to help ease pressure on liquidity in the banking system.
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