Indian equity markets continued their weak trade in the afternoon session on account of selling in frontline blue chip counters despite firm Asian cues. The mood on the street remained cautious despite a private report stating that the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) is likely to be fiscally neutral and its impact on inflation is expected to be less than 20 basis points. Besides, the losses in healthcare, Telecom, metal and bank stocks also aided to pessimistic milieu. However, there was some support too that was restricting any steep decline, as the Cabinet cleared four supporting GST legislations, paving the way for their introduction in Parliament. Once approved by Parliament, the states would start taking their SGST bill for discussion and passage in the respective state assemblies. In scrip specific development, ONGC was up by around a percent after inking definitive agreements to buy out debt-ridden GSPC’s entire 80% stake in KG-basin natural gas block for $1.2 billion.
On the global front, Asian markets were trading mostly in green, as the dollar continued to slide in the wake of fresh comments from Fed officials that the pace of interest rate hikes in 2017 would be slow than what investors had feared earlier.
The BSE Sensex is currently trading at 29428.12, down by 90.62 points or 0.31% after trading in a range of 29419.13 and 29585.05. There were 9 stocks advancing against 21 stocks declining on the index.
The broader indices were trading in red; the BSE Mid cap index was down by 0.74%, while Small cap index was down by 0.40%.
The gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Capital Goods up by 0.15%, IT up by 0.13%, FMCG up by 0.11% and Basic Materials up by 0.02%, while Healthcare down by 1.59%, Telecom down by 1.01%, Bankex down by 0.60%, Auto down by 0.59% and Metal down by 0.50% were the losing indices on BSE.
The top gainers on the Sensex were ITC up by 0.85%, ONGC up by 0.76%, Larsen & Toubro up by 0.75%, Coal India up by 0.53% and Infosys up by 0.48%. On the flip side, Dr. Reddys Lab down by 3.85%, Axis Bank down by 2.90%, GAIL India down by 1.90%, Sun Pharma down by 1.87% and Mahindra & Mahindra down by 1.35% were the top losers.
Meanwhile, expressing unhappiness over progress of projects, the Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari has said that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) should have more powers to fast-track road projects. He also said that a proposal in this regard has already been sent to the Cabinet for approval.
Gadkari has stated that they have to strengthen the power of NHAI and the Board. He also said that their proposal is pending and they hopes that Cabinet will enhance the power of the NHAI that will be useful for road construction. The Minister also expects that at least Rs 10,000 crore worth of road construction from the NHAI. He further added that the project delays were due to the system as there were so many committees to take decisions and eventually the projects suffer.
The move is aimed at empowering the NHAI board to clear all highway projects on its own instead of seeking clearances at various levels. Enhancing the power of NHAI will help fast-track clearances to highway projects at a time when the government has fixed a target of building 40 km of roads a day. The NHAI board at present proposes a highway project which is cleared by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) before Cabinet approval if the project amount is less than Rs 1,000 crore.
The CNX Nifty is currently trading at 9104.15, down by 22.70 points or 0.25% after trading in a range of 9099.75 and 9147.75. There were 18 stocks advancing against 33 stocks declining on the index.
The top gainers on Nifty were Bosch up by 2.23%, Grasim Industries up by 1.37%, Bharti Infratel up by 1.07%, ITC up by 0.98% and Larsen & Toubro up by 0.73%. On the flip side, Idea Cellular down by 4.71%, Dr. Reddys Lab down by 3.63%, Axis Bank down by 2.63%, Tata Motors - DVR down by 1.82% and Sun Pharma down by 1.79% were the top losers.
The Asian markets were trading mostly in green; FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI increased 3.36 points or 0.19% to 1,752.77, Shanghai Composite gained 4.03 points or 0.12% to 3,254.84, Jakarta Composite was up by 12.39 points or 0.22% to 5,546.38, KOSPI Index rose 21.37 points or 0.99% to 2,178.38, Taiwan Weighted added 59.52 points or 0.6% to 9,972.49 and Hang Seng surged 83.39 points or 0.34% to 24,585.38.
On the flip side, Nikkei 225 was down by 65.71 points or 0.34% to 19,455.88.