Indian equity indices pared some of their earlier losses but continued to trade in negative zone in late afternoon session. Broadly negative global cues coupled with a weak rupee and heavy selling pressure witnessed in FMCG, Automobile and Banking stocks, kept the markets sentiments down. However, some support came in with the report that the services sector bounced back to growth in February, after contracting for three months in a row, as businesses recovered from the demonetisation-related disruptions seen in each of the previous three months. The seasonally adjusted Nikkei Services Business Activity Index rose back above the 50.0 no-change mark in February, posting 50.3 from 48.7 in January. The seasonally adjusted Nikkei India Composite PMI Output Index too climbed to 50.7 from 49.4 in January to signal the first increase in private sector activity across India since last October. Moreover, the broader markets showed some fervor and traded with marginal gains, performing better than their larger peers.
On the global front, European markets were trading in red as investors will be keeping a close eye on Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech later today for further clues regarding the outlook for rates. Asian markets were trading in red. Back home, on the sectoral front, select sugar sector stocks were trading in green with report that sugar production fell by 19% to 16.24 million tonnes during the first five months of the 2016-17 marketing year ending September on lower cane supply in drought-hit states like Maharashtra and Karnataka. In scrip specific development, Alembic Pharmaceuticals were trading higher after the company launched desvenlafaxine succinate extended-release tablets 50mg and 100mg by its partner Breckenridge Pharmaceutical, Inc.
The BSE Sensex is currently trading at 28826.49, down by 13.30 points or 0.05% after trading in a range of 28716.21 and 28847.97. There were 15 stocks advancing against 14 stocks declining on the index, while 1 stock remained unchanged.
The broader indices were trading in green; the BSE Mid cap index was up by 0.01%, while Small cap index was up by 0.22%.
The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Telecom up by 1.19%, Energy up by 0.89%, Realty up by 0.77%, Utilities up by 0.74% and Oil & Gas up by 0.65%, while FMCG down by 0.49%, Auto down by 0.30%, Bankex down by 0.19%, PSU down by 0.13% and Consumer Disc down by 0.12% were the top losing indices on BSE.
The top gainers on the Sensex were GAIL India up by 3.10%, Reliance Industries up by 2.29%, Axis Bank up by 1.39%, Sun Pharma up by 1.32% and Wipro up by 1.00%. On the flip side, HDFC down by 1.52%, Asian Paints down by 1.35%, ITC down by 1.29%, ICICI Bank down by 0.75% and SBI down by 0.71% were the top losers.
Meanwhile, with an aim to provide better business environment by removing obstacles, the government is likely to soon relax foreign direct investment (FDI) policy in select sectors, including single brand retail. This move is part of the Union Budget for 2017-18 announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on February 1, 2017.
Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has stated that the government will consider the proposal made by foreign retailers for allowing non-food items like homecare products under the policy. The government is also considering a proposal to increase FDI limit in print media from 26 percent to 49 percent. Besides, in order to attract more global players in single brand retail sector, a proposal to allow 100 per cent FDI through the automatic route in the sector is also under consideration.
FDI in India has increased by 22 percent to $35.85 billion during April-December 2016. Earlier, the government had relaxed FDI norms in over a dozen sectors, including defence, civil aviation, construction and development, private security agencies, real estate and news broadcasting. Foreign investments are considered essential for India, which needs around $1 trillion to overhaul its infrastructure such as ports, airports and highways to boost growth. Foreign investments will help improve the country's balance of payments situation and strengthen the value of the rupee against global currencies, especially the US dollar.
The CNX Nifty is currently trading at 8890.95, down by 8.80 points or 0.10% after trading in a range of 8860.10 and 8898.50. There were 23 stocks advancing against 28 stocks declining on the index.
The top gainers on Nifty were Bharti Infratel up by 5.97%, Hindalco up by 3.85%, GAIL India up by 3.47%, Grasim Industries up by 2.26% and Reliance Industries up by 1.99%. On the flip side, BPCL down by 2.05%, Bosch down by 1.84%, HDFC down by 1.72%, Asian Paints down by 1.50% and Ambuja Cement down by 1.44% were the top losers.
All the Asian markets were trading in red; Hang Seng decreased 175.35 points or 0.74% to 23,552.72, Nikkei 225 decreased 95.63 points or 0.49% to 19,469.17, Taiwan Weighted decreased 43.59 points or 0.45% to 9,648.21, KOSPI Index decreased 23.9 points or 1.14% to 2,078.75, Jakarta Composite decreased 13.11 points or 0.24% to 5,395.14, Shanghai Composite decreased 11.72 points or 0.36% to 3,218.31 and FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI decreased 5.34 points or 0.31% to 1,710.33.
All the European Markets were trading in red; Germany’s DAX decreased 58.1 points or 0.48% to 12,001.47, UK’s FTSE 100 decreased 27.6 points or 0.37% to 7,354.75 and France’s CAC decreased 9.95 points or 0.2% to 4,953.85.