Indian equity benchmarks ended with modest gains on the last trading day of the week. The sell-off in last hour of trade dragged the market from day’s high but managed to end above neutral line. The equity benchmarks made a positive start in early deals as traders took support with Finance minister Arun Jaitley’s statement that legislation related to Goods and Services Tax (GST) will have to be passed in the ongoing budget session, pointing out that the Centre and the states would otherwise lose their right to collect indirect taxes after September 15. Jaitley said four bills supporting the Constitution amendment law on GST enacted last year will be introduced in the Lok Sabha shortly. Banking stocks led the pack with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s statement that the government is going to announce a policy to push for the quick settlement of the non-performing assets (NPA) at banks in a couple of days. Jaitley added that this is in line with the government’s plan to quickly charter out a resolution mechanism to resolve and recover the mounting bad loans in the banking sector, especially public sector banks. Lenders also got a boost from expectation of good demand for YES Bank’s up to $750-million share sale announced on Thursday. Separately, the government has exempted FIIs from taxation of indirect transfers of Indian assets made after 2011 but has left prior period cases open for interpretation. The Finance Bill 2017 approved with 40 amendments to different laws, exempts FIIs for an assessment year commencing on or after April 1, 2012 but before April 1, 2015.
On the global front, Asian markets closed mostly in green, as investors eyed US political developments on a healthcare bill that is seen as a litmus test of President Donald Trump’s ability to get ambitious tax and spending plans passed as well. Japan stocks closed in green as gains in the Chemical, Petroleum & Plastic, Power and Mining sectors led shares higher. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said there is no reason to withdraw the bank’s massive monetary stimulus now as inflation remains distant from its 2 percent target. European markets were trading under pressure as markets were still jittery ahead of a highly-anticipated vote on US President Donald Trump’s healthcare bill and as investors eyed the release of a string of euro zone economic data.
The BSE Sensex ended at 29386.70, up by 54.54 points or 0.19% after trading in a range of 29350.17 and 29539.85. There were 14 stocks advancing against 16 stocks declining on the index. (Provisional)
The broader indices ended mixed; the BSE Mid cap index was down by 0.10%, while Small cap index was up by 0.29%. (Provisional)
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Bankex up by 1.28%, PSU up by 0.89%, Energy up by 0.31%, FMCG up by 0.27% and Consumer Durables up by 0.21%, while IT down by 0.97%, TECK down by 0.89%, Healthcare down by 0.45%, Basic Materials down by 0.40% and Telecom down by 0.35% were the losing indices on BSE. (Provisional)
The top gainers on the Sensex were ICICI Bank up by 3.16%, SBI up by 2.48%, GAIL India up by 1.55%, ITC up by 1.01% and Reliance Industries up by 0.86%. (Provisional)
On the flip side, TCS down by 1.30%, Infosys down by 1.21%, Lupin down by 0.98%, Bajaj Auto down by 0.93% and Tata Steel down by 0.80% were the top losers. (Provisional)
Meanwhile, buoyed by the surge in equity markets, the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) will consider increasing its investments in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) 15 per cent of investible deposits in 2017-18, from the current 10 per cent. The EPFO trustees will meet on March 30 to discuss the option.
Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya had already indicated that EPFO are proposing to invest up to 15 per cent during the next year and for which they will seek opinion in its meeting. He had also pointed that the organisation is getting good yield from such investments. So far, it has invested Rs 18,069 crore in the market.
The EPFO had entered the stock market by investing 5 per cent in August 2015, which was raised to 10 per cent last year. In the current year, the PF body invested the amount in the two index-linked ETFs- the BSE's Sensex and the NSE's Nifty, which yielded a return of 18.13 per cent.
The CNX Nifty ended at 9099.90, up by 13.60 points or 0.15% after trading in a range of 9089.40 and 9133.55. There were 22 stocks advancing against 29 stocks declining on the index. (Provisional)
The top gainers on Nifty were Bank of Baroda up by 3.76%, SBI up by 2.89%, ICICI Bank up by 2.79%, GAIL India up by 1.59% and Kotak Mahindra Bank up by 1.19%. (Provisional)
On the flip side, Grasim Industries down by 3.17%, Tech Mahindra down by 1.70%, Zee Entertainment down by 1.51%, TCS down by 1.31% and Ambuja Cement down by 1.25% were the top losers. (Provisional)
The European markets were trading in red; UK’s FTSE 100 decreased 3.88 points or 0.05% to 7,336.83, Germany’s DAX decreased 7.02 points or 0.06% to 12,032.66 and France’s CAC decreased 17.57 points or 0.35% to 5,015.19.
Asian equity markets ended mostly in green on Friday after US markets ended flat overnight, showing little reaction to the postponement of a key vote on President Donald Trump's replacement healthcare plan intended to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Underlying sentiment remained positive amid bets that the delayed vote would go ahead later in the day. Failure to pass it would cast doubt on Trump's ability to deliver on promises of increased infrastructure spending, tax cuts and deregulation. Japanese shares recovered from a weak start to close higher as the yen weakened against the dollar and banks posted strong gains after recent selling. The latest survey from Nikkei revealed that activity in Japan's manufacturing sector continued to expand in March, albeit at a slower rate, with a PMI score of 52.6, down from 53.3 in February. Further, Chinese shares rose as strong gains in the infrastructure sector offsetting concerns over tightening liquidity in the country's banking system, increased regulation and fresh curbs on property investment.
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