Key benchmark indices extended gains in afternoon trade to hit fresh day's highs as firmness prevailed on the bourses on steady buying demand in index pivotals. At 13:15 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 376.45 points or 1.13% at 33,683.59. The Nifty 50 index advanced 120.45 points or 1.18% at 10,347.30. Positive Asian stocks boosted sentiment on the domestic bourses. 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, 1,392 shares declined and 1,179 shares advanced. A total of 140 shares were unchanged.
Metal and mining stocks advanced. Jindal Steel & Power (up 2.01%), Vedanta (up 1.83%), Tata Steel (up 1.28%), Hindalco Industries (up 1.23%), Hindustan Copper (up 1.18%), JSW Steel (up 1.1%), Steel Authority of India (up 0.86%) and NMDC (up 0.78%) gained. Hindustan Zinc (down 1.64%) and National Aluminium Company (down 0.4%) dropped.
GAIL (India) was up 0.89% after the company announced 29 March 2018 as record date for the purpose of issuance of one bonus share for existing three shares held. The announcement was made during market hours today, 12 March 2018.
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, Asian stocks edged higher 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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