Indian equity benchmarks continued their firm trade in the afternoon session on account of buying in front line blue chip counters. The benchmarks managed to hold their crucial 9,100 (Nifty) and 29,400 (Sensex) mark. The sentiments were upbeat with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s statement that the government is keen to roll out the GST on July 1 and other aspects like bringing petroleum and land under its ambit will be considered after the first year of implementation of the new system of indirect tax collection. The GST Bill will be tabled in the Lok Sabha later in today. Meanwhile, the rupee was trading higher against the US dollar in early trade on account of fresh selling of American currency by banks and exporters in view of weakness in greenback overseas. The upside was however capped with reports that the current account deficit (CAD) widened to $ 7.9 billion or 1.4% of GDP in the October-December quarter on account of higher trade deficit. In scrip specific development, Ujaas Energy was up by over six and half percent after bagging an order from Indraprastha Power Generation Company (IPGCL) for implementation of Grid connected Rooftop Solar PV system of 669 Kwp under capex model in selected GNCTD schools & schools & other Government Buildings in Delhi.
On the global front, Asian markets were trading mostly in red, following weak cues overnight from Wall Street after U.S. lawmakers delayed a vote on a healthcare bill intended to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Back home, the BSE Sensex is currently trading at 29458.83, up by 126.67 points or 0.43% after trading in a range of 29350.17 and 29500.19. There were 19 stocks advancing against 11 stocks declining on the index.
The broader indices were trading in green; the BSE Mid cap index was up by 0.33%, while Small cap index was up by 0.68%.
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Bankex up by 1.19%, PSU up by 1.02%, Telecom up by 0.71%, Metal up by 0.65% and Utilities up by 0.65%, while IT down by 0.56% and TECK down by 0.36% were the losing indices on BSE.
The top gainers on the Sensex were ICICI Bank up by 3.09%, SBI up by 2.46%, ITC up by 1.33%, Bharti Airtel up by 1.18% and GAIL India up by 0.89%. On the flip side, TCS down by 0.77%, Infosys down by 0.69%, Cipla down by 0.58%, Bajaj Auto down by 0.56% and ONGC down by 0.41% were the top losers.
Meanwhile, India’s current account deficit (CAD), the difference between the value of all imports and the value of all exports, has widened in the third quarter (October-December) of 2016-17, to $7.9 billion or 1.4 percent of GDP as compared to $7.1 billion or 1.4 percent of GDP in the same quarter of 2015. The CAD expanded primarily on account of a decline in net invisibles receipts despite a slightly lower trade deficit on a year-on-year basis.
As per the data released by Reserve Bank of India (RBI), during April-December 2016, the CAD narrowed to 0.7 percent of GDP from 1.4 percent in April-December 2015, on the back of the contraction in the trade deficit. India's trade deficit narrowed to $82.8 billion in April-December 2016 as compared to $105.3 billion in April-December 2015. It said that private transfer receipts, mainly representing remittances by Indians employed overseas registered a decline of 3.8 percent amounting to $15.2 billion, from the previous level a year ago.
In the year 2016-17, net services receipts moderated on a y-o-y basis, mainly due to the fall in earnings from software, financial services and charges for intellectual property rights. In the financial account, net foreign direct investment at $9.8 billion in Q3 of 2016-17 was marginally lower than its level a year ago. On the other hand, portfolio investment recorded a net outflow of $11.3 billion in Q3 of 2016-17 as against $0.6 billion net inflow in the year-ago period.
Meanwhile, reflecting the redemption of Foreign Currency Non Resident (FCNR) (B) deposits, Non-resident Indian (NRI) deposits declined to $18.5 billion in Q3 of 2016-17 as against an inflow of $1.6 billion in the year-ago period. In Q3 of 2016-17, foreign exchange reserves (on BoP basis) declined by $1.2 billion as against an increase of $4.1 billion in Q3 of last year.
The CNX Nifty is currently trading at 9119.05, up by 32.75 points or 0.36% after trading in a range of 9089.40 and 9131.95. There were 30 stocks advancing against 21 stocks declining on the index.
The top gainers on Nifty were Bank of Baroda up by 4.32%, ICICI Bank up by 3.22%, SBI up by 2.55%, ITC up by 1.48% and Bharti Airtel up by 1.05%. On the flip side, Grasim Industries down by 1.93%, Tech Mahindra down by 1.30%, BPCL down by 0.89%, TCS down by 0.84% and Infosys down by 0.70% were the top losers.
The Asian markets were trading mostly in red; Taiwan Weighted decreased 27.76 points or 0.28% to 9,902.98, Jakarta Composite slipped 6.25 points or 0.11% to 5,557.51, KOSPI Index was down by 3.77 points or 0.17% to 2,168.95 and FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI declined 0.22 points or 0.01% to 1,746.78.
On the flip side, Hang Seng increased 4.19 points or 0.02% to 24,331.89, Shanghai Composite rose 20.44 points or 0.63% to 3,268.99 and Nikkei 225 was up by 177.22 points or 0.93% to 19,262.53.