Indian bourses continued to trade lower in the noon session on Thursday as investors remained cautious ahead of exit polls data for assembly elections in 5 states which will be released later in the day. State elections results, including that of Uttar Pradesh, which will have a key influence on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's chances of clinching a second term in 2019, is to be revealed on Saturday. Besides, weak trend in Asian stocks coupled with depreciation in rupee value against US dollar, also weighed on the sentiments. However, losses remained capped on the reports that foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 564.15 crore on March 08, 2017. Meanwhile, Aviation stocks gained traction after the Delhi government said VAT on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) will be brought down from 25% to 1% for flights to remote areas such as North Eastern states.
On the global front, Asian markets were trading mostly lower on Thursday, following the lackluster cues overnight from Wall Street and lower commodity prices, including a more than 5% fall in crude oil prices. Oil prices plunged as US crude inventories surged much more than expected to a record high, stocking concerns that a global glut could persist even as OPEC tries to prop up prices with output curbs. Trading volumes were low, as investors remained wary of a possible rate hike at the upcoming Fed meeting.
Back home, stocks from Consumer Durables, Realty and Auto counters were supporting the markets, while those from Telecom, Healthcare and Oil & Gas counters were adding to the underlying cautious undertone. In scrip specific development, Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers (TNPL) dipped after the company stopped production in Paper Machine II (PM II), in Unit I (Karur) due to water shortage. On the other hand, Unichem Laboratories gained after the company received ANDA approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for Rizatriptan Benzoate ODT 5mg & 10mg and Rizatriptan Benzoate Tablets USP, 5mg & 10mg.
The market breadth remained pessimistic, as there were 1230 shares on the gaining side against 1142 shares on the losing side, while 144 shares remained unchanged
The BSE Sensex is currently trading at 28901.71, down by 0.23 points or 0.00% after trading in a range of 28815.02 and 28928.85. There were 15 stocks advancing against 15 stocks declining on the index.
The broader indices were trading in green; the BSE Mid cap index was up by 0.14%, while Small cap index up by 0.26%.
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Consumer Durables up by 0.69%, Realty up by 0.51%, Auto up by 0.50%, Consumer Disc up by 0.46% and Bankex up by 0.30%, while Utilities down by 0.58%, Telecom down by 0.48%, Healthcare down by 0.47%, Oil & Gas down by 0.45% and Metal down by 0.40% were the top losing indices on BSE.
The top gainers on the Sensex were Axis Bank up by 1.47%, Asian Paints up by 1.18%, Maruti Suzuki up by 1.16%, SBI up by 0.85% and Tata Motors up by 0.59%. On the flip side, Dr. Reddy’s Lab down by 4.33%, GAIL India down by 1.97%, Adani Ports & SEZ down by 1.83%, Wipro down by 1.16% and Power Grid down by 0.97% were the top losers.
Meanwhile, Indian Credit Rating Agency (ICRA), the domestic rating agency in its latest report has said that the Indian Aviation Industry is likely to report 22 to 23 percent passenger traffic growth in FY17 supported by ongoing low airfare regime. It also said that the airlines are maintaining healthy passenger load factors (PLFs) backed by low airfares. Though, since the aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices have been on an uptrend during the year, the impact on profitability of the airlines during Q4 FY17 is inevitable, as average ATF prices during the quarter are 37.9 percent higher YoY, while the yields continue to remain under pressure.
ICRA said that the Indian Aviation industry has reported YoY passenger traffic growth of 23.2 percent during 10m FY17 period and the industry is heading towards completing one of the best years in terms of passenger traffic growth. It also said that the domestic passenger growth for last five years stood at 12.9 percent, 5.3 percent, 4.6 percent, 15.5 percent and 22.1 percent and the industry is likely to surpass the last year growth rate, notably on a higher base. According to the report, during the month of January 2017, the domestic passenger traffic growth stood at 25.3 percent. The YoY traffic growth on international routes for the industry was moderate at 8.8 percent; however, the Indian carriers outperformed the industry growth, with 17.8 percent YoY growth in traffic.
As per its estimation, the fuel cost per ASKM (CASK) of the domestic aviation industry increased to Rs 1.16 in January 2017 from a low of Rs 0.82 in February 2016, and the same is expected to increase further in February and March 2017. Further, outstanding order backlog of various Indian airlines underlines healthy future capacity addition. Backed by competitive pricing, the industry reported stellar PLF of 84.4 percent during 10m FY17, which is also one of the best amongst the key markets in the world.
The CNX Nifty is currently trading at 8916.25, down by 8.05 points or 0.09% after trading in a range of 8899.50 and 8929.80. There were 20 stocks advancing against 31 stocks declining on the index.
The top gainers on Nifty were Axis Bank up by 1.52%, Maruti Suzuki up by 1.21%, Asian Paints up by 1.10%, SBI up by 0.78% and ACC up by 0.73%. On the flip side, Dr. Reddy’s Lab down by 4.26%, Idea Cellular down by 2.45%, GAIL India down by 2.16%, Adani Ports & SEZ down by 1.79% and Bharti Infratel down by 1.71% were the top losers.
The Asian markets barring Japanese Nikkei 225 which was trading up by 0.14%, were trading in red.
On the other hand, Hang Seng slumped by 1.14%, Taiwan Weighted decreased 0.97%, Shanghai Composite decreased by 0.87%, FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI was down by 0.17%, KOSPI Index declined by 0.02% and Jakarta Composite was tad lower by 0.01%.