Indian equity benchmarks added gains in late afternoon session and continue to trade in positive territory ahead of the expiry of March futures & options later in the day. Sentiments remained optimistic with the report that the country moved a step closer to implementing a nationwide goods and services tax (GST) from July 1. Four bills related to GST, passed by the lower house of parliament, would next be presented before the upper house. The new sales tax regime will subsume a slew of central and state levies, transforming a nation of more than 1.2 billion population into a single market. Some support also came with Finance Secretary Ashok Lavasa’s statement that using Aadhaar as a platform, the government initiatives like the direct benefit transfer (DBT) in various social sector schemes has helped the government to save Rs 34,000 crore. He also said that benefits of Aadhaar should not be undermined as it has brought efficiency in public spending and removed corruption. On the sectoral front, stocks of some steel companies were trading in red as investors shrugged off the Moody's Investors Service’s report that it expects limited pressure on steel prices in the next 12-18 months as there are adequate protectionist measures in place in the form of safeguards and anti-dumping duties.
On the global front, European markets were trading in green as investors came to terms with the official launch of Brexit proceedings and digested reports regarding the European Central Bank (ECB). However, Asian markets were trading in red. Back home, in scrip specific development, Punjab National Bank (PNB) traded higher after the bank raised Rs 250 crore on March 29, 2017 through Unsecured Subordinated, fully paid-up, non-convertible, Basel III compliant, perpetual debt instruments (series X) in the nature of debentures for inclusion in additional tier I capital of face value of Rs 10.00 lakh each (bonds) at a coupon rate of 9.21% payable annually.
The BSE Sensex is currently trading at 29620.69, up by 89.26 points or 0.30% after trading in a range of 29521.65 and 29645.88. There were 19 stocks advancing against 11 stocks declining on the index.
The broader indices were trading in green; the BSE Mid cap index was up by 0.44%, while Small cap index was up by 0.81%.
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Realty up by 2.26%, Consumer Durables up by 1.31%, Industrials up by 0.85%, Capital Goods up by 0.79% and Consumer Disc up by 0.55%, while Metal down by 0.39%, Telecom down by 0.08%, PSU down by 0.03% and Oil & Gas down by 0.01% were the top losing indices on BSE.
The top gainers on the Sensex were Adani Ports & SEZ up by 4.67%, Hindustan Unilever up by 1.15%, SBI up by 0.97%, Mahindra & Mahindra up by 0.87% and HDFC Bank up by 0.84%. On the flip side, Coal India down by 1.11%, ONGC down by 1.04%, Axis Bank down by 0.90%, Infosys down by 0.56% and Tata Steel down by 0.40% were the top losers.
Meanwhile, the Power Ministry has said that India has turned around from a net importer of electricity to net exporter of electricity for the first time. According to the Central Electricity Authority (CEA), the Designated Authority of Government of India for Cross Border Trade of Electricity, during April-February 2017, the country has exported around 5,798 million units to Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar, which is 213 million units more than the import of around 5,585 million units from Bhutan. Also, in the last three years, export to Nepal and Bangladesh increased 2.5 and 2.8 times respectively.
As per the report, ever since the cross border trade of electricity started in mid-Eighties, India has been importing electricity from Bhutan and marginally exporting to Nepal in radial mode at 33 kV and 132 kV from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. It also said that on an average Bhutan has been supplying around 5,000- 5500 Million units to India. It added that India had also been exporting around 190 MW power to Nepal over 12 cross border interconnections at 11kV, 33kV and 132 kV level.
The report highlighted that India’s power exports to Nepal has further increased by around 145 MW with the commissioning of the Muzaffarpur (India) - Dhalkhebar (Nepal) 400kV line (being operated at 132 kV) in 2016. It also noted that, in September 2013, India’s export of power to Bangladesh got a further boost with the commissioning of the first cross border interconnection between Baharampur in India and Bheramara in Bangladesh at 400kV.
According to the report, export of power to Nepal is expected to increase by around 145 MW shortly over 132 kV Katiya (Bihar) - Kusaha (Nepal) and 132 kV Raxaul (Bihar) - Parwanipur (Nepal). Moreover, a few more cross border links with neighbouring countries are in pipe line which would further increase export of Power.
The CNX Nifty is currently trading at 9150.15, up by 6.35 points or 0.07% after trading in a range of 9136.35 and 9169.65. There were 30 stocks advancing against 21 stocks declining on the index.
The top gainers on Nifty were Adani Ports & SEZ up by 4.39%, Aurobindo Pharma up by 1.34%, Kotak Mahindra Bank up by 1.04%, Zee Entertainment up by 1.03% and Hindustan Unilever up by 0.98%. On the flip side, Coal India down by 1.55%, BHEL down by 1.46%, ONGC down by 1.34%, Idea Cellular down by 1.29% and Axis Bank down by 1.28% were the top losers.
All Asian markets were trading in red; Nikkei 225 decreased 154.26 points or 0.8% to 19,063.22, Hang Seng decreased 90.96 points or 0.37% to 24,301.09, Shanghai Composite decreased 31.08 points or 0.96% to 3,210.24, Jakarta Composite decreased 11.47 points or 0.21% to 5,581.04, Taiwan Weighted decreased 8.1 points or 0.08% to 9,848.15, FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI decreased 2.99 points or 0.17% to 1,747.42 and KOSPI Index decreased 2.34 points or 0.11% to 2,164.64.
All European markets were trading in green; France’s CAC increased 2.93 points or 0.06% to 5,071.97, UK’s FTSE 100 increased 6.62 points or 0.09% to 7,380.34 and Germany’s DAX increased 27.68 points or 0.23% to 12,230.68.