Indian equity benchmarks, despite some profit booking at higher levels, are trading in fine fettle in early deals on Friday, with frontline gauges surpassing their crucial 28,400 (Sensex) and 8,800 (Nifty) levels. Sentiments remained up-beat with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s statement that situation is normal as far as remonetisation is concerned and RBI is monitoring cash position on a daily basis. Some support also came with Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal’s statement that demonetisation of old high value currency and the government's push towards digital economy will definitely expand India's GDP. He also said that India was on the verge of a transition from a large cash economy to a less cash and digital economy.
On the global front, Asian stock markets took a breather on Friday from their recent surge as investors took profits, while the dollar inched up after Thursday’s slide and optimism over possible renewed supply cuts by OPEC lifted oil prices. The US markets ended almost flat after a lackluster performance in the last session, as traders expressed some uncertainty about the near-term outlook for the markets following the recent run to record highs.
Back home, there was broad based buying witnessed in the markets and apart from the blue chips, the broader markets too showed strength in initial trades. The market breadth remained in favour of advances, as there were 1,184 shares on the gaining side against 738 shares on the losing side while 105 shares remain unchanged.
The BSE Sensex is currently trading at 28482.56, up by 181.29 points or 0.64% after trading in a range of 28431.61 and 28726.26. There were 16 stocks advancing against 14 stocks declining on the index.
The broader indices were trading in green; the BSE Mid cap index gained 0.38%, while Small cap index was up by 0.37%.
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Bankex up by 1.80%, Oil & Gas up by 0.58%, Consumer Durables up by 0.36%, PSU up by 0.21% and Capital Goods was up by 0.20%, while IT down by 1.21%, TECK down by 1.06%, Metal down by 0.31%, FMCG down by 0.03% and Auto was down by 0.01% were the top losing indices on BSE.
The top gainers on the Sensex were HDFC Bank up by 6.54%, HDFC up by 1.48%, Sun Pharma up by 1.24%, Tata Motors up by 1.14% and Axis Bank was up by 0.95%. On the flip side, Infosys down by 1.69%, TCS down by 1.45%, Hero MotoCorp down by 1.15%, Wipro down by 0.73% and Coal India was down by 0.69% were the top losers.
Meanwhile, the American thinktank, Heritage Foundation in its latest report titled ‘2017: Index of Economic Freedom’ has reported that India slipped by 3.6 points to 143rd rank from 123rd rank last year. The overall score of India was 52.6 points in the index, behind its several South Asian neighbours. The report classified India in the ‘mostly unfree’ economies category, citing uneven progresses on market-oriented reforms.
The thinktank has said that despite India sustaining an average annual growth of about 7 per cent over the past five years, growth is not deeply rooted in policies that preserve economic freedom. The report stated that the state maintains an extensive presence in many areas through public-sector enterprises. A restrictive and burdensome regulatory environment discourages the entrepreneurship that could provide broader private-sector growth. It also said that India has technology and manufacturing sectors as advanced as any in the world as well as traditional sectors characteristic of a lesser developed economy. Extreme wealth and poverty coexist as the nation both modernises rapidly and struggles to find paths to inclusive development for its large and diverse population.
The report noted that India is a significant force in world trade, but corruption, underdeveloped infrastructure, and poor management of public finance undermine overall development. The thinktank, however, credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi with reinvigorating India’s foreign policy. It said Modi, who in June 2016 made his fourth visit to the US in two years, has bolstered bilateral ties, particularly in defence cooperation.
As per the report, Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand topped the index. India’s neighbours Nepal (125), Sri Lanka (112), Pakistan (141), Bhutan (107), and Bangladesh (128) were ranked higher than India, while only Afghanistan (163) and Maldives (157) were ranked below India. Also, China with a score of 57.4 points, an increase of 5.4 points compared to previous year was placed at 111 position and the United States was ranked 17 with 75.1 points.
The CNX Nifty is currently trading at 8821.15, up by 43.15 points or 0.49% after trading in a range of 8804.25 and 8896.45. There were 26 stocks advancing against 25 stocks declining on the index.
The top gainers on Nifty were HDFC Bank up by 6.24%, Indusind Bank up by 1.66%, Bosch up by 1.61%, BPCL up by 1.50% and HDFC was up by 1.39%. On the flip side, Idea Cellular down by 3.25%, Bharti Infratel down by 1.82%, Infosys down by 1.79%, TCS down by 1.52% and HCL Tech was down by 1.43% were the top losers.
Asian markets were trading mostly in red; Nikkei 225 declined 132.06 points or 0.68% to 19,215.47, Hang Seng decreased 96.44 points or 0.4% to 24,011.26, Jakarta Composite fell 27.64 points or 0.51% to 5,350.36, Shanghai Composite shed 15 points or 0.46% to 3,214.62, Taiwan Weighted slipped 7.88 points or 0.08% to 9,763.37 and KOSPI Index was down by 3 points or 0.14% to 2,078.84.
On the flip side, FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI was up by 2.36 points or 0.14% to 1,709.95.