Indian bourses pared most of their initial losses but continued to trade marginally in red in the afternoon session on account of selling witnessed in front line blue chip stocks. Market sentiment was hit by Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the RBI, decision to hold its interest rate steady at 6.25% for the second time. Importantly, the committee said that it decided to change the stance from accommodative to neutral, while keeping the policy rate on hold to assess how the transitory effects of demonetisation on inflation and the output gap play out. Further, the losses in Metal, banking, Capital Goods and FMCG stocks also aided to pessimistic milieu. However, downside remained capped as some optimism came with Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das’ statement that the Indian economy will grow more than 7% in the next financial year as the Budget has come up with several measures to provide boost to various sectors. In scrip specific development, Oracle Financial Services Software (OFSS) was up by over two percent on reporting 7.24% rise in its net profit at Rs 235.53 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2016 as compared to Rs 219.62 crore for the same quarter in the previous year.
On the global front, Asian markets were trading mostly in green, following the central banks of India and New Zealand keeping interest rates steady. However, the Japanese market declined on a stronger yen. Also, Investors shrugged off better-than-expected core machine orders data.
The BSE Sensex is currently trading at 28262.10, down by 27.82 points or 0.10% after trading in a range of 28152.18 and 28469.48. There were 14 stocks advancing against 16 stocks declining on the index.
The broader indices were trading mixed; the BSE Mid cap index was down by 0.06%, while Small cap index was up by 0.14%.
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Realty up by 1.39%, IT up by 1.05%, TECK up by 0.99%, Consumer Durables up by 0.53% and Power up by 0.26%, while Metal down by 0.88%, Bankex down by 0.65%, Capital Goods down by 0.51%, FMCG down by 0.35% and PSU down by 0.34% were the losing indices on BSE.
The top gainers on the Sensex were TCS up by 1.80%, GAIL India up by 1.14%, Power Grid up by 1.07%, Hero MotoCorp up by 0.92% and Infosys up by 0.86%. On the flip side, Tata Steel down by 2.02%, Cipla down by 1.56%, SBI down by 1.28%, Larsen & Toubro down by 1.10% and ICICI Bank down by 1.03% were the top losers.
Meanwhile, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that during the last three years and the current fiscal up to January, the Board of Approval (BoA) has granted more time to 143 special economic zone (SEZ) developers across the country to complete their projects. She also said that some SEZs developers have sought additional time for the execution of their projects for various reasons including adverse business climate due to global recession, delay in approvals from statutory bodies and delay in environmental clearance.
Sitharaman highlighted that as many as 141 SEZs which have been approved are yet to be developed and 206 SEZs are operational as on December last year. She also noted that the maximum number of operational SEZs (units which have started exports) are in Tamil Nadu (36), Telangana (27) followed by Maharashtra (26), Karnataka (25) and Andhra Pradesh (19). She added that during April-December 2016, exports from these zones stood at Rs 3.58 lakh crore and it was Rs 4.67 lakh crore in 2015-16.
Also, these special economic zones are export hubs that account for about 23 per cent of the country's total exports. They enjoy certain tax and other benefits including exemptions from central sales tax, service tax and exemption from income tax for 15 years. Meanwhile, BoA is a 19-member inter-ministerial body headed by the commerce secretary.
The CNX Nifty is currently trading at 8756.50, down by 12.55 points or 0.14% after trading in a range of 8724.10 and 8821.40. There were 24 stocks advancing against 27 stocks declining on the index.
The top gainers on Nifty were Aurobindo Pharma up by 1.92%, Bharti Infratel up by 1.92%, Tech Mahindra up by 1.56%, TCS up by 1.39% and GAIL India up by 1.00%. On the flip side, Hindalco down by 2.22%, Tata Steel down by 2.11%, Bank of Baroda down by 1.98%, Cipla down by 1.70% and Larsen & Toubro down by 1.35% were the top losers.
The Asian markets were trading mostly in green; KOSPI Index increased 0.8 points or 0.04% to 2,065.88, Shanghai Composite gained 9.68 points or 0.31% to 3,176.67, Jakarta Composite advanced 15.93 points or 0.3% to 5,377.02, Taiwan Weighted rose 46.93 points or 0.49% to 9,590.18 and Hang Seng was up by 58.58 points or 0.25% to 23,543.71. On the flip side, Nikkei 225 was down by 99.93 points or 0.53% to 18,907.67.