Buoyed by firm global cues, Indian equity benchmarks have made an optimistic start and are trading in fine fettle in early deals. Sentiments remained up-beat with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, finally giving its nod to all the five draft legislations needed for implementation of the unified indirect tax, paving the way for the model laws - central GST (CGST), state GST (SGST), integrated GST (IGST), Union Territory GST (UTGST) and Compensation Act - to be presented in the ongoing Budget session of Parliament after it is approved by the Union Cabinet.
On the global front, Asian markets were trading mostly in green at this point of time and set for its best week since September, while the dollar continued the slide that began after the Federal Reserve indicated it was unlikely to speed up monetary tightening. However, the US markets ended modestly in red in the last session.
Back home, export oriented stocks remained on buyers’ radar, as buoyed by last month's double-digit export growth, the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) is looking at more export friendly measures to sustain the growth rate in a challenging global environment. There was broad based buying witnessed in the markets and apart from the blue chips, the broader markets too participated strongly in the rally. The market breadth remained in favor of advances, as there were 1,178 shares on the gaining side against 841 shares on the losing side while 114 shares remain unchanged.
The BSE Sensex is currently trading at 29746.60, up by 160.75 points or 0.54% after trading in a range of 29671.47 and 29824.62. There were 17 stocks advancing against 13 stocks declining on the index.
The broader indices were trading in green; the BSE Mid cap index gained 0.26%, while Small cap index was up by 0.46%.
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were FMCG up by 3.27%, Metal up by 0.71%, Energy up by 0.57%, Realty up by 0.57% and Basic Materials up by 0.43%, while Telecom down by 0.73%, TECK down by 0.34%, Bankex down by 0.21%, IT down by 0.14% and Capital Goods down by 0.13% were the top losing indices on BSE.
The top gainers on the Sensex were ITC up by 6.34%, Maruti Suzuki up by 1.39%, Tata Steel up by 1.28%, Adani Ports up by 1.16% and Reliance Industries was up by 1.11%. On the flip side, GAIL India down by 0.95%, Bharti Airtel down by 0.87%, Infosys down by 0.63%, SBI down by 0.61% and Larsen & Toubro was down by 0.59% were the top losers.
Meanwhile, with an aim to provide assured health services to all, the union cabinet has accorded its nod to the much-awaited National Health Policy (NHP). As a crucial component, the policy proposes raising public health expenditure to 2.5 percent of the GDP in a time bound manner from way below 2 percent GDP expenditure on the sector at present.
In order to provide access and financial protection, it proposes free drugs, free diagnostics and free emergency and essential healthcare services in all public hospitals. Reduce mortality rate of children under 5 years of age to 23 (per 1000) by 2025 and maternal mortality rate (MMR) from current levels to 100 by 2020. Reduce infant mortality rate to 28 by 2019. Reduce neo-natal mortality to 16 and still birth rate to 'single digit' by 2025. To improve and strengthen the regulatory environment, the policy seeks putting in place systems for setting standards and ensuring quality of healthcare.
Health Minister J.P. Nadda has said that NHP would aim at increasing life expectancy to 70 years from 67.5 and reduce fertility rate to 2.1 by 2025. He added that this policy has come after a gap of 15 years to address the current and emerging challenges necessitated by the changing socio-economic, technological and epidemiological landscape.
Highlighting some of the key targets of the policy, Nadda said that the NHP aims to raise public spending on health besides revisiting public private partnerships in the health sector. The policy envisages providing a larger package of assured comprehensive primary healthcare through the 'Health and Wellness Centers'. It is a comprehensive package which includes care for major non-communicable diseases (NCDs), mental health, geriatric healthcare, palliative care and rehabilitative care services.
Nadda further said that the policy aims to ensure availability of 2 beds per 1000 population distributed in a manner to enable access within golden hour. It also looks at reforms in the existing regulatory systems both for easing manufacturing of drugs and devices to promote ‘Make in India’, as also for reforming medical education. The policy advocates development of mid-level service providers, nurse practitioners, public health cadre to improve availability of appropriate health human resource.
The CNX Nifty is currently trading at 9183.65, up by 29.95 points or 0.33% after trading in a range of 9166.50 and 9218.40. There were 22 stocks advancing against 29 stocks declining on the index.
The top gainers on Nifty were ITC up by 6.38%, Tata Power up by 1.64%, Tata Steel up by 1.36%, Maruti Suzuki up by 1.13% and Lupin was up by 1.07%. On the flip side, Bharti Airtel down by 1.39%, GAIL India down by 0.98%, Aurobindo Pharma down by 0.88%, Bharti Infratel down by 0.87% and Hindalco was down by 0.81% were the top losers.
Asian markets were trading mostly in green; KOSPI Index gained 8.78 points or 0.41% to 2,158.86, FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI increased 10.51 points or 0.61% to 1,747.65, Jakarta Composite rose 21.85 points or 0.4% to 5,540.09, Taiwan Weighted added 26.94 points or 0.27% to 9,864.77 and Hang Seng was up by 66.61 points or 0.27% to 24,354.89.
On the flip side, Nikkei 225 decreased 57.56 points or 0.29% to 19,532.58 and Shanghai Composite was down by 7.78 points or 0.24% to 3,261.16.