Benchmark equity indices continued to trade in green in noon session, supported by gains in Telecom, Capital Goods, Banking and PSU sector stocks. Sentiments remained positive with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley terming the GST bill revolutionary and hoping all the political parties would pass the related bills through consensus in the current session of Parliament.. Moreover, covering-up of short positions by speculators ahead of March month expiry in the derivatives segment too contributed to the indices’ gains. Meanwhile, the rupee rose above 65-mark against the dollar for the first time since October 28, 2015 on strong capital inflows. In scrip specific development, IndusInd Bank was trading in green after extending its agreement with Lohia Auto Industries for financing their electric three wheelers under the e-rickshaw category.
On the global front, Asian markets were trading mostly in green, tracking the positive lead overnight from Wall Street after data showed that U.S. consumer confidence rose to a sixteen-year high in March. However, investors remained cautious as British Prime Minister Theresa May signed a letter on Tuesday to European Council President Donald Tusk notifying the European Union of Britain's intention to leave the bloc.
The BSE Sensex is currently trading at 29503.84, up by 94.32 points or 0.32% after trading in a range of 29439.42 and 29535.04. There were 17 stocks advancing against 13 stocks declining on the index.
The broader indices were trading in green; the BSE Mid cap index was up by 0.29%, while Small cap index was up by 0.48%.
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Telecom up by 1.07%, Capital Goods up by 0.73%, Bankex up by 0.72%, PSU up by 0.68% and Consumer Durables up by 0.53%, while Realty down by 0.28%, Healthcare down by 0.19%, Oil & Gas down by 0.19% and Energy down by 0.02% were the losing indices on BSE.
The top gainers on the Sensex were SBI up by 2.04%, Asian Paints up by 1.55%, ICICI Bank up by 1.21%, Larsen & Toubro up by 0.97% and HDFC Bank up by 0.79%. On the flip side, Sun Pharma down by 0.74%, Mahindra & Mahindra down by 0.52%, GAIL India down by 0.44%, Hero MotoCorp down by 0.36% and Adani Ports &SEZ down by 0.30% were the top losers.
Meanwhile, in order to help stuck projects worth 31 GW thermal capacity avail the benefits of ‘mega status’, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) is expected to give its approval to amend the Mega Power Policy, which will help to avoid potential stressed assets worth Rs. 1.5 lakh crore. The amendment will also help to bring down the power tariff for making electricity more affordable for domestic as well as industrial and commercial consumers.
The changes will also give developers more time to sign power purchase agreements and ease terms related to release of their bank guarantee. Out of these stuck projects which have not imported or not inked power purchase agreement would get extra time to seek various benefits after approval to the amendments in the policy. While, all those plant which have already imported the equipment would get additional 60 months for inking power purchase agreements with discoms/states and an additional time period of 120 months would be provided to those projects for which equipment has not been imported, under the policy for seeking various benefits.
This relaxation in time frame would help all of these 31GW capacities to unlock total various benefit of over Rs 10,000 crore under the policy, as they would get incentives ranging from Rs 30-40 lakh per MW. Thermal power plants of over 1,000 MW and hydel projects of over 500 MW currently enjoy mega power project status that gives them exemption from excise duty besides lower customs duty and deemed export benefits. These 31GW include around 3,300 MW of gas based thermal power generation capacities and the remaining projects are coal based.
The CNX Nifty is currently trading at 9125.85, up by 25.05 points or 0.28% after trading in a range of 9109.10 and 9136.10. There were 30 stocks advancing against 21 stocks declining on the index.
The top gainers on Nifty were Bharti Infratel up by 3.92%, SBI up by 2.09%, Tata Power up by 1.80%, Asian Paints up by 1.53% and ICICI Bank up by 1.17%. On the flip side, Aurobindo Pharma down by 0.81%, Mahindra & Mahindra down by 0.72%, Kotak Mahindra Bank down by 0.68%, Sun Pharma down by 0.67% and Grasim Industries down by 0.66% were the top losers.
Asian markets were trading mostly in green; Shanghai Composite increased 1.02 points or 0.03% to 3,253.96, KOSPI Index added 3.67 points or 0.17% to 2,166.98, Nikkei 225 surged 14.61 points or 0.08% to 19,217.48, Jakarta Composite was up by 41.14 points or 0.74% to 5,582.34 and Hang Seng increased 49.26 points or 0.2% to 24,395.13.
On the flip side, Taiwan Weighted decreased 20.2 points or 0.2% to 9,856.25 and FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI was down by 2.86 points or 0.16% to 1,751.56.