Key benchmark indices continued to trade with small losses in afternoon trade. At 13:25 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 25.91 points or 0.09% at 29,435.54. Trading activity was thin as many global markets remained close for a holiday. Sentiment was subdued on rising geopolitical concerns.
Local equities kick-started trading for the week with slim gains as trading resumed after a long weekend. Domestic bourses were shut on Friday, 14 April 2017, on account of public holiday. After slipping into the red in morning trade, indices staged a recovery in mid-morning trade. Indices once again slipped into the red and hovered within a small range in negative terrain in early afternoon trade.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, turned negative from positive. On the BSE, 1,381 shares fell and 1,362 shares rose. A total of 144 shares were unchanged.
Most FMCG stocks declined. Tata Global Beverages (down 0.47%), Britannia Industries (down 0.34%), Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care (down 0.39%), Hindustan Unilever (HUL) (down 0.31%), Colgate Palmolive India (down 0.8%), GlaxoSmithkline Consumer Healthcare (down 1.43%), Godrej Consumer Products (down 0.45%), and Nestle India (down 1.61%) declined. Marico (up 0.13%), Dabur India (up 1.45 %), and Jyothy Laboratories (up 9.38%) gained.
Bajaj Corp tumbled 6.73% after net profit fell 2.9% to Rs 52.67 crore on 1.9% decline in net sales to Rs 204.21 crore in Q4 March 2017 over Q4 March 2016. The result was announced at the fag end of the trading session on Thursday, 13 April 2017. The market was shut on Friday, 14 April 2017, on account of public holiday.
Shares of power generation and power distribution companies were mixed. Torrent Power (down 0.56%), NHPC (down 1.54%), Tata Power Company (down 0.41%), and NTPC (down 2.55%) declined.
GVK Power & Infrastructure (up 0.5%), Adani Power (up 0.76%), Power Grid Corporation of India (up 1.3%), Reliance Infrastructure (up 1.07%) and Reliance Power (up 0.74%) gained.
Shares of state run coal mining major Coal India fell 1.43% to Rs 286.80. The stock had hit high of Rs 290.65 and low of Rs 286.35 in intraday trade.
HCL Technologies rose 0.42% after the company announced the renewal of its transformational IT services engagement with Singapore Exchange for another five years. Singapore Exchange is Asia's leading and trusted market infrastructure, operating equity, fixed income and derivatives markets to the highest regulatory standards.
Expanding the scope from the earlier year 2010 engagement covering IT infrastructure, data center services and IT management, the new contract includes transformational IT services in a managed services construct - spanning IT infrastructure, end-user computing, data center, cloud services, workplace transformation, managed networks, enterprise security and GRC. HCL will leverage its DRYiCETM Autonomics and Orchestration Platform, driving business efficiency, productivity gains and end-user experience. The announcement was made during market hours today, 17 April 2017.
PVR rose 2.09% to Rs 1,595.85 on reports a foreign brokerage has maintained buy rating on the stock for a target price of Rs 1,850.
On the macro front, the inflation based on wholesale price index (WPI) dropped to 5.7% (provisional) for the month of March 2017 over March 2016 as compared to 6.55% (provisional) for February 2017 and -0.45% during March 2016. Build up inflation rate in the financial year so far was 5.7% compared to a build up rate of -0.45% in the corresponding period of the previous year. The announcement was made during market hours today, 17 April 2017.
Meanwhile, India's merchandise exports increased at 65-month high pace of 27.6% to US$ 29.23 billion in March 2017 over a year ago. Meanwhile, merchandise imports jumped 45.3% to US$ 39.67 billion. The trade deficit more than doubled to US$ 10.44 billion in March 2017 from US$ 4.40 billion in March 2016.
Overseas, European markets remained closed. Asian stocks dropped as the crisis in Russia and Syria and heightened tensions between the US and North Korea hurt investor sentiment. North Korea failed in its attempt to test another missile and the US said it is working with China and other allies to develop a range of options against the country's provocative and destabilizing behavior.
China reported growth of 6.9% in the first quarter, its fastest pace since the third quarter of 2015, fueled by credit and infrastructure spending as well as a stubbornly booming property market. The pace was a notch up from the 6.8% in the previous quarter and put China well ahead of its annual target of about 6.5% growth. Data released today, 17 April 2017 also showed that investment picked up, retail sales rebounded and factory output accelerated in March.
US equities declined on Thursday, 13 April 2017 weighed down by material and energy sectors. US markets are set to reopen today, 17 April 2017 after Friday's holiday, while markets in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong are closed and most European markets are also shut.
In the latest economic data, weekly first-time jobless claims fell slightly in the latest week, dropping to 234,000. Separately, the producer-price index fell 0.1% in March, though core PPI which excludes food, energy, and trade was up 0.1%. A preliminary reading of consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan also came in at a reading of 98 in April from 96.9 in March, highlighting a trend of upbeat so-called soft data.
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