Strong buying demand in index heavyweights ITC, Infosys and HDFC propelled the key benchmark indices to fresh intraday high in mid-afternoon trade. At 14:25 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 466.02 points or 1.4% at 33,773.16. The Nifty 50 index advanced 147.55 points or 1.44% at 10,374.40. Auto stocks gained. Pharma shares saw mixed trend. Global stocks gained as international trade-war concerns took a backseat to economic optimism following a stronger US jobs report released over the weekend.
Trading for the week began on a firm note as the key benchmark indices saw a gap-up opening triggered by positive Asian stocks. Indices extended gains in morning trade. Stocks held firm till early afternoon trade. Indices hit fresh day's highs in afternoon trade.
The breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was negative. On the BSE, 1,395 shares declined and 1,223 shares advanced. A total of 154 shares were unchanged. Breadth was strong till morning trade. It turned negative from positive in early afternoon trade.
Auto stocks gained. Maruti Suzuki India (up 1.33%), Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) (up 0.56%), Bajaj Auto (up 0.47%), Hero MotoCorp (up 1.93%) and TVS Motor Company (up 0.05%) gained. Escorts (down 0.38%) and Ashok Leyland (down 1.12%) fell.
Tata Motors advanced 2.05% after the Tata Motors Group global wholesales in February 2018, including Jaguar Land Rover, rose 18%, to 1.21 lakh units in February 2018 over February 2017. Global wholesales of all Tata Motors' commercial vehicles and Tata Daewoo range in February 2018 rose 28% to 46,262 units. Global wholesales of all passenger vehicles in February 2018 rose 12% to 74,990 units. The announcement was made after market hours on Friday, 9 March 2018.
Eicher Motors rose 1.33%. Eicher Motors announced that the board of directors of Eicher Polaris (EPPL), the company's equal joint venture with US-based Polaris Industries Inc. passed a resolution to close the operations of EPPL with immediate effect. EPPL was incorporated in October 2012 and it was in June 2015 that the company launched the Multix, which was India's first personal utility vehicle. The announcement was made during market hours today, 12 March 2018.
Given its unique positioning and differentiated product features, Multix initially generated significant interest from customers. However, the initial interest could not be sustained and the subsequent sales performance was significantly slower than the company's expectations. Despite several initiatives, the company's performance could not be revived. Hence, the board of EPPL has concluded that in the present circumstances, it is in the best interest of all stakeholders to close the operations of the company. However, EPPL will continue to provide spares and service support for the Multix.
Pharma shares saw mixed trend. Glenmark Pharmaceuticals (up 1.11%), Lupin (up 0.54%), Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (up 0.94%), Alkem Laboratories (up 0.06%), Cipla (up 0.26%) and Dr Reddy's Laboratories (up 0.11%) rose. GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals (down 0.45%), Aurobindo Pharma (down 2.11%), Wockhardt (down 0.85%) and Cadila Healthcare (down 0.99%) fell.
According to media reports, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a supplementary prosecution complaint (charge sheet) against former Andhra Bank director Anup Prakash Garg in connection with a Rs 5000 crore bank fraud involving Sterling Biotech (SBL) of the Sandesara group of companies.
The ED reportedly claimed that the Sandesaras had paid over Rs 1.52 crore to Garg as quid pro quo for facilitating bank credit and other transactions. Garg was arrested by the ED on 12 January 2018 and is in judicial custody. The agency has attached his properties worth Rs 1.23 crore, reports added.
Goa Carbon rose 1.85%. Goa Carbon announced that the directions issued by the Goa State Pollution Control Board to suspend operations of the company's Goa plant located at St. Jose de Areal, Salcete, Goa has been revoked vide an order dated 9 March 2018. The announcement was made after market hours on Friday, 9 March 2018.
The Goa State Pollution Control Board simultaneously issued its consent to the Goa plant to operate for three months from 9 March 2018 for trial operation with authorisation to manufacture upto 20,000 MT of Calcined Petroleum Coke.
On the macro front, the government will after market hours today, 12 March 2018, announce inflation data based on consumer price index (CPI) for February 2018. Consumer prices in India increased 5.07% year-on-year in January 2018, below 5.21% in December 2017.
Industrial production data for January 2018 will also be released after market hours today, 12 March 2018. India's industrial production rose by 7.1% year-on-year in December 2017, following an upwardly revised 8.8% gain in the previous month.
Meanwhile, sending a strong positive signal to the exporting community, the GST Council in its 26th meeting held on Saturday, 10 March 2018 decided to extend the available tax exemptions on imported goods for a further six months beyond 31 March 2018. Thus, exporters presently availing various export promotion schemes can now continue to avail such exemptions on their imports upto 1 October 2018, by which time an e-Wallet scheme is expected to be in place to continue the benefits in future.
The GST Council has also recommended the introduction of e-way bill for inter-State movement of goods across the country from 1 April 2018. For intra-State movement of goods, e-way bill system will be introduced with effect from a date to be announced in a phased manner but not later than 1 June 2018. E-way bill is required to be generated only where the value of the consignment exceeds Rs 50000. For smaller value consignments, no e-way bill is required.
Overseas, European equities opened higher as investors continue to digest a stronger-than-expected jobs report in the US. Asian stocks rose as trade-war concerns took a backseat to economic optimism following a US jobs report Friday, 9 March 2018 that showed the American economy continued to strengthen without the prior month's rapid wage gains that stoked inflation fears.
US stocks registered strong gains on Friday, 9 March 2018 as Wall Street appeared to shake off worries about tariffs on steel and aluminum to focus on an unexpectedly strong jobs report. Shares also got a boost from news that US President Donald Trump accepted an invitation to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which followed a narrower-than-expected tariff plan from the White House on Thursday, 8 March 2018 that eased speculation of a trade war.
In economic data, the US created 313,000 new jobs in February, the biggest gain since mid-2016 and a reflection of the strongest labor market in two decades. The unemployment rate held at 4.1%, the fifth straight month at that level. The subdued rise in wage growth for the month helped to ease worries about runaway inflation.
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