Indian bourses continued their weak trade in the afternoon session on a broad based selling amid weak global cues. The sentiments remained under pressure with Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s statement that the proposed changes in the regime for issuing H-1B visas for skilled workers by the US government will have an impact on Indian companies and the Commerce Ministry will soon hold a meeting with the industry to discuss its strategy for dealing with it. Traders were taking cautious bet ahead of outcome of monetary policy committee meeting due tomorrow. Besides, depreciation in Indian rupee against the dollar too dampened the mood. After rising for nine straight days, the rupee turned weak by 15 paise to 67.37 against the dollar in early trade on fresh demand for the American currency from importers. The downside was however capped as some support came with commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s statement that disbanding FIPB (Foreign Investment Promotion Board) will further improve ease of doing business and the respective regulators of the ministries concerned are ‘sufficient’ to take care of investment proposals. In scrip specific development, Punjab National Bank was up by around three percent after reporting over four-fold jump in its net profit at Rs 207.18 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2016 as compared to Rs 51.01 crore for the same quarter in the previous year.
On the global front, Asian markets were trading mostly in red as economic and political fears sent investors seeking shelter in the yen, while forecasts China’s foreign exchange reserves has fallen for a seventh month added to jitters. Back home, the BSE Sensex is currently trading at 28368.46, down by 70.82 points or 0.25% after trading in a range of 28341.05 and 28483.41. There were 9 stocks advancing against 21 stocks declining on the index.
The broader indices were trading in green; the BSE Mid cap index was up by 0.23%, while Small cap index was up by 0.33%.
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Oil & Gas up by 0.61%, Power up by 0.58%, PSU up by 0.54%, FMCG up by 0.34% and Capital Goods up by 0.22%, while Auto down by 0.99%, Realty down by 0.26%, TECK down by 0.15%, Bankex down by 0.14% and IT down by 0.13% were the losing indices on BSE.
The top gainers on the Sensex were ITC up by 0.89%, Asian Paints up by 0.87%, NTPC up by 0.69%, Tata Steel up by 0.40% and Power Grid up by 0.40%. On the flip side, Tata Motors down by 2.15%, Mahindra & Mahindra down by 1.31%, Bajaj Auto down by 1.25%, Adani Ports &SEZ down by 1.13% and Wipro down by 0.86% were the top losers.
Meanwhile, in a step forward to enhance logistics efficiency, the government is considering to develop economic corridors along with logistics parks on national highways. The economic corridors include Mumbai-Cochin-Kanyakumari, Bangalore-Mangalore, Hyderabad-Panji and Sambalpur-Ranchi to name a few. After completing the economic corridors, this will help to reduce the travel time and result in reduction in logistics costs.
Minister of State for Highways Mansukh Lal Mandavia has said that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways got a study conducted on logistics efficiency enhancement. He said that the study has made several recommendations including, inter alia, development of economic corridors, feeder routes and removal of choke points, along with the development of logistics parks on national highways. Minister noted that recommendations have been accepted and the work of developing logistics parks at identified locations in partnership with state governments has been assigned to National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). He added that a rough estimate suggests about Rs 3 lakh crore on the project and the scheme is being finalized.
The plan is to develop Rs 3 lakh crore economic corridor project to develop 35,000 km of highways for faster movement of cargo. This would develop economic corridors with a length of about 21,000 kms as well as develop 14,000 kms of feeder routes that is providing connectivity to logistic hubs. Besides, the project would be taken into phases and awarded under various modes including build, operate, transfer (BOT) toll mode and the newer hybrid annuity mode (HAM) under which the while the government provides 40 per cent of the project cost the developer has to arrange for remaining 60 per cent.
The CNX Nifty is currently trading at 8778.25, down by 22.80 points or 0.26% after trading in a range of 8770.10 and 8809.30. There were 16 stocks advancing against 35 stocks declining on the index.
The top gainers on Nifty were BHEL up by 3.23%, BPCL up by 1.80%, Bharti Infratel up by 1.33%, Kotak Mahindra Bank up by 1.09% and Asian Paints up by 0.76%. On the flip side, Tata Motors - DVR down by 2.47%, Tata Motors down by 2.25%, Bosch down by 1.81%, Ambuja Cement down by 1.48% and ACC down by 1.43% were the top losers.
Asian markets were trading mostly in red; Nikkei 225 decreased 65.93 points or 0.35% to 18,910.78, Jakarta Composite dipped 9.96 points or 0.18% to 5,386.03, Shanghai Composite declined 7.49 points or 0.24% to 3,149.50, FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI was down by 3.4 points or 0.2% to 1,687.84 and KOSPI Index slipped 2.45 points or 0.12% to 2,075.21. On the flip side, Hang Seng was up by 4.63 points or 0.02% to 23,352.87 and Taiwan Weighted increased 16.55 points or 0.17% to 9,554.56.