Indian benchmarks trading modestly in red have turned cautious towards the mid of the session. Coming off their days high, with the retail inflation rising to 4-month high of 3.65 per cent in February, while the wholesale prices shot up to a 39-month high of 6.55 per cent. Traders were eyeing the US Federal Reserve policy meeting outcome, which is most likely to hike interest rate, resulting in foreign fund outflow from the emerging markets. On the domestic front there was some cautiousness with Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian’s statement that demonetisation can be called successful only if the amount of currency in circulation comes down over time and there is an increase in tax compliance. However, any serious fall in the markets are getting averted with renewed hopes of reforms after the BJP’s win in recent assembly elections of five states.
The broader markets were still holding the gains and were up by over half a percent. On the sectoral front, telecom along with energy and consumer durables were supporting the markets, while the IT and technology stocks were dragging the markets down.
In scrip specific developments, Reliance Communications rose by over 2% after it received Stock Exchange and SEBI Approvals for proposed Demerger of Wireless Business into Aircel.
The BSE Sensex is currently trading at 29412.45, down by 30.18 points or 0.10% after trading in a range of 29405.23 and 29500.08. There were 15 stocks advancing against 15 stocks declining on the index.
The broader indices were trading in green; the BSE Mid cap index was up by 0.69%, while Small cap index up by 0.59%.
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Telecom up by 1.63%, Consumer Durables up by 0.66%, Energy up by 0.56%, Auto up by 0.55% and Consumer Disc up by 0.52%, while IT down by 1.67%, TECK down by 1.11%, Utilities down by 0.16%, Capital Goods down by 0.07% and FMCG down by 0.03% were the top losing indices on BSE.
The top gainers on the Sensex were Reliance Industries up by 1.39%, SBI up by 1.20%, Hero MotoCorp up by 0.81%, Adani Ports & SEZ up by 0.76% and Tata Motors up by 0.66%. On the flip side, Infosys down by 2.16%, TCS down by 2.14%, Hindustan Unilever down by 1.56%, Larsen & Toubro down by 0.74% and Wipro down by 0.64% were the top losers.
Meanwhile, the Union Cabinet in a meeting will be considering a bill to amend the Payment of Gratuity Act, which will double tax-free gratuity ceiling to Rs 20 lakh for private sector employees. Currently, private sector employees can get tax exemption up to Rs 10 lakh in gratuity after five years of continuous employment.
The central trade unions had recently agreed on the proposal in a tripartite consultation with the Labour Ministry. However, they demanded the removal of minimum of 10 employees clause and minimum 5 years of service clause for applicability of the Act in Establishments. The trade unions also demanded that the new gratuity ceiling for tax benefits should be made effective from January 1, 2016, in line with the norms set for government employees. Besides that rate of 15 days wages for each completed year of service be raised to 30 days wages.
The move to benefit individuals employed in the private sectors is being brought to bring the maximum ceiling amount to Rs 20 lakh in line with the 7th Central Pay Commission's recommendations as accepted by the government. The relevant amendment for central government employees was notified on July 25, 2016 and the enhanced amount ceiling was made effective from January 1, 2016.
The CNX Nifty is currently trading at 9085.35, down by 1.65 points or 0.02% after trading in a range of 9076.25 and 9105.35. There were 28 stocks advancing against 23 stocks declining on the index.
The top gainers on Nifty were Idea Cellular up by 9.75%, Bank Of Baroda up by 3.04%, BHEL up by 2.88%, Grasim Industries up by 2.04% and Reliance Industries up by 1.43%. On the flip side, TCS down by 2.28%, Infosys down by 2.26%, Hindustan Unilever down by 1.50%, HCL Tech down by 1.33% and Larsen & Toubro down by 0.84% were the top losers.
Most of the Asian main markets were trading in red, Nikkei 225 declined by 32.12 points or 0.16% to 19,577.38, FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI was down by 5.62 points or 0.33% to 1,716.85, Shanghai Composite decreased by 5.13 points or 0.16% to 3,234.20, Hang Seng was down by 3.9 points or 0.02% to 23,824.05, Taiwan Weighted was lower by 3.9 points or 0.04% to 9,740.31 and KOSPI Index declined by 2.27 points or 0.11% to 2,131.51.
On the other hand, Jakarta Composite was tad higher by 0.82 points or 0.02% to 5,432.40.