Indian equities pared most of their initial gains but continue to trade in green in the afternoon session, taking cues from Asian counterparts. The sentiments were still getting some support with Moody's Investors Service’s latest report stating that demonetisation will be credit positive for India as it is likely to reduce tax avoidance and corruption. The agency however projected growth to slow to 6.4% in the January-March quarter, from 7% in the previous three months. Some support also came with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s statement that the Q3 GDP data was substantially impacted by demonetization, adding that Indian economic growth is likely to pick up further in coming quarters and that GDP number belies exaggerated claim by many that rural sector was in distress. Besides, recovery in the rupee value also supported the sentiment. The rupee was trading strong at 66.73 in early deals on increased selling of the American currency by exporters. In scrip specific development, Lupin was trading in green after launching generic Pristiq (Desvenlafaxine Succinate) Extended-Release Tablets, 50 mg and 100 mg having received an approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) earlier.
On the global front, Asian markets were trading mostly in green, tracking the strong gains overnight on Wall Street after U.S. President Donald Trump's address to a joint session of Congress. Back home, the BSE Sensex is currently trading at 29070.83, up by 86.34 points or 0.30% after trading in a range of 29041.39 and 29145.62. There were 18 stocks advancing against 12 stocks declining on the index.
The broader indices were trading in red; the BSE Mid cap index was down by 0.21%, while Small cap index was down by 0.14%.
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Auto up by 1.25%, Industrials up by 0.87%, Capital Goods up by 0.58%, Metal up by 0.51% and IT up by 0.36%, while Realty down by 2.07%, Telecom down by 1.19%, Healthcare down by 0.66%, Utilities down by 0.57% and Power down by 0.52% were the losing indices on BSE.
The top gainers on the Sensex were Tata Motors up by 3.65%, Hero MotoCorp up by 2.20%, Bajaj Auto up by 2.20%, Coal India up by 1.50% and ICICI Bank up by 1.22%. On the flip side, Sun Pharma down by 2.12%, Dr. Reddys Lab down by 1.34%, Bharti Airtel down by 1.32%, NTPC down by 1.22% and Power Grid down by 0.78% were the top losers.
Meanwhile, in line with global trends, Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have hiked non-subsidized or market-priced domestic cooking gas (LPG) by Rs 86 per 14.2-kg bottle. The steepest hike in India's history, comes on the back of Rs 66.5 per cylinder increase effected from February 1. Rates have been on the upswing since October, 2016.
Following the hike, non-subsidised cooking gas (LPG) now costs Rs 737.50 per cylinder. It was priced at Rs 651.50 per 14.2-kg cylinder till February 28. The oil firms also raised the price of subsidised cooking gas by a marginal 13 paisa to Rs 434.93 per 14.2-kg cylinder. This follows a 9 paise increase effected from February 1. Prior to these two marginal price hikes, subsidised cooking gas rates had gone up eight times of nearly Rs 2 per cylinder each. Similarly, the firms too hiked the prices of the Jet fuel or aviation turbine fuel (ATF) by a marginal Rs 214 per kilolitre (kl) to Rs 54,293.38 per kl. The increase comes on back of a 3 per cent hike on February 1.
State-owned fuel retailers, Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL) revise jet fuel and non-subsidised LPG prices on the first of every month based on average imported cost and rupee-dollar exchange rate.
The CNX Nifty is currently trading at 8968.30, up by 22.50 points or 0.25% after trading in a range of 8961.45 and 8992.50. There were 30 stocks advancing against 21 stocks declining on the index.
The top gainers on Nifty were Tata Motors up by 3.62%, Tata Motors - DVR up by 3.35%, Ultratech Cement up by 2.81%, Hero MotoCorp up by 2.50% and Bajaj Auto up by 2.19%. On the flip side, Idea Cellular down by 3.36%, Sun Pharma down by 2.18%, BPCL down by 2.11%, Bharti Airtel down by 1.47% and NTPC down by 1.28% were the top losers.
The Asian markets were trading mostly in green; KOSPI Index increased 11.01 points or 0.53% to 2,102.65, FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI rose 15.5 points or 0.91% to 1,713.19, Taiwan Weighted added 17.02 points or 0.18% to 9,691.80, Jakarta Composite was up by 57.28 points or 1.07% to 5,420.34, Hang Seng increased 99.72 points or 0.42% to 23,876.21 and Nikkei 225 gained 171.26 points or 0.88% to 19,564.80.
On the flip side, Shanghai Composite was down by 12.02 points or 0.37% to 3,234.92.