Indian benchmark indices continued to trade in tight band in afternoon deals with a gain of over half a percent. Investors remained optimistic on hopes that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be implemented on time. The government introduced the supporting legislation for the goods and services tax (GST) in Parliament on Monday, reinforcing expectations that it would make the 1 July deadline for the roll-out of this singular tax reform. Some support also came with the report that manufacturing activity improved in March after a three months of decline, while various government measures are likely to push up activity in the infrastructure sector going forward. The yearly SBI Composite Index, one of leading indicator for manufacturing activity in the Indian economy, bounced back to above 50-mark level to 50.3 after 3-months of decline. Besides, firm Asian cues and sustained foreign fund inflows too supported the market. In scrip specific development, Suven Life Sciences (Suven) was up by over a percent after securing one product patent from New Zealand (712369) corresponding to the New Chemical Entities (NCEs) for the treatment of disorders associated with Neurodegenerative diseases and the Patent is valid through 2033.
On the global front, Asian markets were trading mostly in green as investors shrugged off the mixed cues overnight from Wall Street and disappointment from U.S. President Donald Trump's inability to advance the healthcare bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. Back home, the BSE Sensex is currently trading at 29405.61, up by 168.46 points or 0.58% after trading in a range of 29301.22 and 29442.18. There were 23 stocks advancing against 7 stocks declining on the index.
The broader indices were trading in green; the BSE Mid cap index was up by 0.71%, while Small cap index was up by 0.84%.
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Telecom up by 0.85%, Basic Materials up by 0.79%, Auto up by 0.75%, Bankex up by 0.74% and Healthcare up by 0.74%, while Oil & Gas down by 0.28%, PSU down by 0.09% and Energy down by 0.03% were the losing indices on BSE.
The top gainers on the Sensex were Axis Bank up by 2.27%, HDFC up by 1.54%, Sun Pharma up by 1.45%, Tata Motors up by 1.21% and Asian Paints up by 1.15%. On the flip side, ONGC down by 1.11%, GAIL India down by 0.55%, ITC down by 0.32%, Coal India down by 0.22% and Hero MotoCorp down by 0.16% were the top losers.
Meanwhile, the Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia has said that India is offering far deeper proposals in the proposed mega Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement than most of the other member nations of the grouping, for liberalisation of trade in services. She also said that the country will give more concessions in RCEP than any other country will do.
Highlighting on the importance of trade in goods and services, the commerce Secretary has said that the sector holds huge potential to boost economic growth and create employment in all economies. Talking on the second review of India-Singapore free trade agreement, she said that there have been difficulties in concluding this review due to certain small issues.
Citing certain issues, Rita Teaotia said that the asset management ratio for Indian banks has tended to be higher than it is for counterpart banks from other nationalities. She also pointed out that in India, this ratio is same for both foreign and Indian banks, but in Singapore, it is hard to know on exactly what premise the asset management ratio is based. Therefore, it leads to worries and concerns in the industry. She added that the other issue is the restrictions in the movement of professionals.
The RCEP is a mega trade agreement being negotiated among 16 countries including ASEAN, India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. It aims to cover goods, services, investments, economic and technical cooperation, competition and intellectual property rights.
The CNX Nifty is currently trading at 9102.50, up by 57.30 points or 0.63% after trading in a range of 9080.80 and 9109.75. There were 41 stocks advancing against 9 stocks declining on the index.
The top gainers on Nifty were Axis Bank up by 2.36%, Zee Entertainment up by 2.06%, Tata Motors - DVR up by 1.97%, HCL Tech. up by 1.74% and Bharti Infratel up by 1.74%. On the flip side, Tech Mahindra down by 2.49%, ONGC down by 1.11%, GAIL India down by 0.76%, Tata Power down by 0.46% and Hero MotoCorp down by 0.27% were the top losers.
Asian markets were trading mostly in green; FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI increased 4.22 points or 0.24% to 1,749.17, KOSPI Index rose 7.65 points or 0.35% to 2,163.31, Hang Seng surged 98.09 points or 0.41% to 24,291.79 and Nikkei 225 was up by 217.28 points or 1.14% to 19,202.87.
On the flip side, Jakarta Composite decreased 25.93 points or 0.47% to 5,541.20, Shanghai Composite was down by 13.07 points or 0.4% to 3,253.88 and Taiwan Weighted declined 0.32 points or 0% to 9,876.45.