Reversing gears, Indian equity benchmarks have slipped into negative territory in noon session as investors turned jittery ahead of GDP data scheduled to be released later in the day. According to private report, the second official estimate of GDP growth is likely to show the economy expanded below 7% in FY17, tripped by the November 8 demonetisation that dented the consumption demand. Sentiments remained downbeat further with India Ratings and Research’s (Ind-Ra’s) estimates that aggregate fiscal deficit of Indian states will increase marginally to 3.3% of gross domestic product (GDP) in FY18 from its forecast of 3.2% for FY17. It expects states’ debt/GDP ratio may increase marginally to 24.3% in FY’18 from 24% forecasted for FY’17. However, investors got some comfort with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s statement that India has potential to grow faster and plans are underway to reduce poverty and create jobs in rural areas. He also expressed his hopes that the GST would be implemented by July 1.
On the global front, Asian markets were trading mostly higher on Tuesday, on hopes that US President Donald Trump will speak about infrastructure spending in an address to Congress later in the day. Further, Japan's Nikkei stock index got a tailwind from a weaker yen and rose 0.3%, on track to gain more than a percent for February and 0.7 percent for the year to date. Overnight, U.S. stocks edged up, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing at a record high for a 12th straight session.
Back home, stocks from Basic Materials, Metal and Consumer Disc counters were supporting the markets, while those from Oil & Gas, Energy and PSU counters were adding to the underlying cautious undertone. In scrip specific development, Transformers and Rectifiers (India) surged after the company received order worth Rs 153 crore from Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation (GETCO). Furthermore, Goldstone Infratech jumped after the company bagged its second order for supply of 25 Pure Electric Buses to Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC), Shimla, at a price of Rs 47.75 crore excluding AMC charges.
The market breadth remained optimistic, as there were 1302 shares on the gaining side against 1085 shares on the losing side, while 180 shares remained unchanged.
The BSE Sensex is currently trading at 28800.04, down by 12.84 points or 0.04% after trading in a range of 28790.22 and 28876.54. There were 16 stocks advancing against 14 stocks declining on the index.
The broader indices were trading in green; the BSE Mid cap index was up by 0.01%, while Small cap index up by 0.36%.
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Basic Materials up by 0.31%, Metal up by 0.23%, Consumer Disc up by 0.21%, Capital Goods up by 0.19% and Healthcare up by 0.18%, while Oil & Gas down by 0.88%, Energy down by 0.70%, PSU down by 0.30%, FMCG down by 0.12% and Utilities down by 0.09% were the top losing indices on BSE.
The top gainers on the Sensex were Mahindra & Mahindra up by 1.37%, Adani Ports & SEZ up by 0.86%, SBI up by 0.62%, Bharti Airtel up by 0.56% and Tata Steel up by 0.55%. On the flip side, Coal India down by 2.23%, Bajaj Auto down by 1.21%, NTPC down by 1.15%, TCS down by 1.06% and Hindustan Unilever down by 0.67% were the top losers.
Meanwhile, with an aim to further boost digital transactions, the government has passed the responsibility of promoting digital transactions, including digital payments to the Ministry of IT and Electronics (MEITY), which was earlier assigned to the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog. The decision was taken in view of the core competence of MEITY to promote digital means for various transactions.
It was reportedly said that NITI Aayog -- which is a think-tank -- should focus on monitoring and suggesting ways to improve various government schemes rather than getting involved with implementation. Earlier, the government had set up a committee under the chairmanship of NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant to push adoption of e-transactions amid the cash crunch faced by citizens due to the note ban.
Through digital transactions, government wants to reduce cash to GDP ratio to around 8 per cent which is now hovering over 13 per cent. To create cashless economy, the IT ministry is tasked with promotion of e-governance for empowering citizens, promoting inclusive and sustainable growth of the electronics and information technology (IT). It is also responsible for encouraging the growth of IT-enabled services industries.
The CNX Nifty is currently trading at 8886.15, down by 10.55 points or 0.12% after trading in a range of 8885.85 and 8914.75. There were 26 stocks advancing against 25 stocks declining on the index.
The top gainers on Nifty were Mahindra & Mahindra up by 1.23%, Adani Ports & SEZ up by 0.94%, Zee Entertainment up by 0.83%, Yes Bank up by 0.67% and Hindalco up by 0.61%. On the flip side, BPCL down by 3.53%, Idea Cellular down by 2.44%, Coal India down by 2.32%, NTPC down by 1.42% and Grasim Industries down by 1.29% were the top losers.
Asian markets were mostly in green, KOSPI Index was up by 0.3%, Shanghai Composite gained 0.18%, Jakarta Composite increased by 0.29% and Nikkei 225 surged by 0.53%. On the other hand, Hang Seng decreased by 0.16% and FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI was tad lower by 0.01%.