Indian equity indices pared their initial gains to trade flat in late afternoon session as investors eagerly awaited results of assembly elections in five states due tomorrow and Federal Reserve policy meeting next week. Moreover, industrial production (IIP) data for January, scheduled to be released after market hours today, also influenced sentiments. Some concerns came with the ICRA’s report that higher oil and gold imports are likely to widen the current account deficit (CAD) to $30 billion or 1.2 percent of GDP in the fiscal 2017-18 from $20 billion or 0.9 percent of GDP in 2017, arresting the trend of moderation recorded for four consecutive years since fiscal 2014. However, market participants got some comfort with the report that the government's revenue collection from indirect tax during April-February grew by an impressive 22.2 percent, while that of direct tax rose by 10.7 percent. Total direct and indirect tax collections at February end stood at Rs 13.89 lakh crore, 81.5 percent of the target of Rs 16.99 lakh crore, as per the revised estimate for 2016-17. The total direct tax read Rs 6.17 lakh crore and indirect tax mop-up was Rs 7.72 lakh crore, led by robust collections in personal income tax and excise duty, respectively.
On the global front, European markets were trading in green as investors awaited the all-important U.S. non-farm payrolls report due later in the day for clues into the timing of any further rate increases. Investors digested the European Central Bank's decision to keep interest rates unchanged on Thursday. President Mario Draghi also signaled that there was no longer a sense of urgency to take further monetary action. Asian markets were trading mixed. Back home, in scrip specific development, Career Point was trading in green after it signed an agreement with Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE), Government of India for IIT-JEE and Pre-Medical coaching to SC and OBC students.
The BSE Sensex is currently trading at 28940.69, up by 11.56 points or 0.04% after trading in a range of 28937.07 and 29076.63. There were 13 stocks advancing against 17 stocks declining on the index.
The broader indices were trading mixed; the BSE Mid cap index was down by 0.12%, while Small cap index was up by 0.14%.
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Telecom up by 1.19%, TECK up by 0.62%, Capital Goods up by 0.61%, IT up by 0.51% and Industrials up by 0.37%, while Metal down by 0.60%, Oil & Gas down by 0.54%, Energy down by 0.53%, Power down by 0.33% and PSU down by 0.32% were the top losing indices on BSE.
The top gainers on the Sensex were Infosys up by 1.15%, Bharti Airtel up by 1.12%, Larsen & Toubro up by 1.04%, Hero MotoCorp up by 0.91% and TCS up by 0.62%. On the flip side, ICICI Bank down by 1.12%, Power Grid down by 0.98%, Tata Steel down by 0.61%, SBI down by 0.49% and Sun Pharma down by 0.46% were the top losers.
Meanwhile, in a bid to make electronic payments more secure, the government has released the draft rules for transactions made through prepaid payment instruments (PPIs) like mobile wallets, smart cards and paper vouchers. The draft IT (Security of Prepaid Payment Instruments) Rules 2017, formulated by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) will ensure adequate integrity, security and confidentiality of electronic payments effected through PPIs. Till date, these instruments are not governed by norms or rules, as far as cyber security issues are concerned.
Furthermore, the PPI issuer will also need to establish a mechanism for monitoring, handling and follow-up of any cyber incidents and breaches. The rules also specify that every wallet issuer should review its security measures at least once a year, and after any major security incident or breach, or before a major change to its infrastructure or procedures. The last date for submitting comments on the draft is March 20.
The CNX Nifty is currently trading at 8929.85, up by 2.85 points or 0.03% after trading in a range of 8927.05 and 8975.70. There were 24 stocks advancing against 27 stocks declining on the index.
The top gainers on Nifty were Idea Cellular up by 2.07%, Bharti Infratel up by 1.47%, Bharti Airtel up by 1.26%, Infosys up by 1.21% and Larsen & Toubro up by 1.05%. On the flip side, Tech Mahindra down by 2.15%, BPCL down by 1.34%, ICICI Bank down by 1.13%, Power Grid down by 1.00% and Hindalco down by 0.90% were the top losers.
Asian markets were trading mixed; KOSPI Index increased 6.29 points or 0.3% to 2,097.35, Hang Seng increased 67.11 points or 0.29% to 23,568.67 and Nikkei 225 increased 286.03 points or 1.48% to 19,604.61. On the flip side, Taiwan Weighted decreased 30.72 points or 0.32% to 9,627.89, Jakarta Composite decreased 25.19 points or 0.47% to 5,377.20, Shanghai Composite decreased 3.99 points or 0.12% to 3,212.76 and FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI decreased 0.64 points or 0.04% to 1,716.78.
All European Markets were trading in red; France’s CAC increased 13.12 points or 0.26% to 4,994.63, UK’s FTSE 100 increased 29.62 points or 0.4% to 7,344.58 and Germany’s DAX increased 41.5 points or 0.35% to 12,019.89.