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FMCG stocks gain

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Key benchmark indices regained positive zone in morning trade soon after hitting intraday low in negative zone in early trade. At 10:25 IST, the barometer index, the S&P Sensex, was up 5.69 points or 0.02% at 29,324.79. The 50 index was up 2.50 points or 0.03% at 9,107.65.

Key benchmark indices alternately swung between gains and losses in early trade.

The Mid-Cap index was up 0.25%. The Small-Cap index was up 0.31%. Both these indices outperformed the

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was positive. On the BSE, 1,180 shares rose and 995 shares fell. A total of 101 shares were unchanged.

Overseas, Asian stocks were trading lower after British Prime Minister Theresa May's surprise decision to hold early elections. May called for an early general election in June, reversing her earlier stance, in hopes of securing a stronger parliamentary mandate for Britain's formal exit from the European Union. Meanwhile, Theresa May will today, 19 April 2017 ask the House of Commons to support her call for a June general election.

US stocks declined yesterday, 18 April 2017 as investors unloaded stocks following disappointing financial reports from Johnson & Johnson and Goldman Sachs. Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order yesterday, 18 April 2017 titled Buy American, Hire American while on a trip to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he called on federal agencies to overhaul the H-1B visa program. The order addresses to take prompt action to crack down on fraud and abuse within the US immigration system in order to protect workers.

In US economic news, manufacturing output fell in March for the first time since last August, according to a batch of industrial-production data released yesterday, 18 April 2017. Also, a reading on housing starts, which measure the number of new-home construction projects that broke ground during a given month, was slightly weaker than expected in March.

Back home, FMCG stocks gained after India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecasted a normal monsoon in this season. FMCG firms derive substantial sales from rural India. Good monsoon may boost farm incomes and consumer spending.

GlaxoSmithkline Consumer Healthcare (up 1.32%), Britannia Industries (up 0.39%), Dabur India (up 0.55%), Godrej Consumer Products (up 1.32%), Hindustan Unilever (up 0.22%), Marico (up 0.47%), Tata Global Beverages (up 0.2%), Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care (up 0.45%), Jyothy Laboratories (up 0.24%) rose.

Bajaj Corp (down 1.43%), Colgate-Palmolive (India) (down 0.38%), Nestle India (down 0.21%) fell.

Most pharma shares rose. Cadila Healthcare (up 1.1%), Dr Reddy's Laboratories (up 0.04%), Glenmark Pharmaceuticals (up 0.18%), Lupin (up 0.18%), Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (up 1.31%) and Wockhardt (up 1.52%) rose. Cipla (down 0.03%), Alkem Laboratories (down 0.38%), GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals (down 0.03%) and Aurobindo Pharma (down 0.23%) fell.

SPML Infra rose 3.45% after the company said it has substantially completed an important irrigation project in Gujarat. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 18 April 2017.

Polaris Consulting & Services fell 3.56% to Rs 217, with the stock sliding on profit booking after recent rally. Shares of Polaris Consulting & Services had rallied 26.55% in the preceding four trading sessions to settle at Rs 225 yesterday, 18 April 2017, from its close of Rs 177.80 on 11 April 2017.

Meanwhile, India Meteorological Department (IMD) in its first stage forecast of southwest monsoon for 2017, yesterday, 18 April 2017, said that quantitatively, the monsoon seasonal rainfall is likely to be 96% of the long period average (LPA) with an error of 5%. Forecast assessment suggests 38% of probability for near normal monsoon rainfall, it added. IMD will issue the update forecasts in early June 2017, as a part of the second stage long range forecast of monsoon rainfall.

The June-September southwest monsoon is critical for the country's agriculture because a considerable part of the country's farmland is dependent on the rains for irrigation.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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