Firmness prevailed on the bourses in early afternoon trade on steady buying demand in index pivotals. At 12:20 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 289.57 points or 0.87% at 33,596.71. The Nifty 50 index was up 90.10 points or 0.88% at 10,316.95. IT stocks advanced. Telecom stocks fell. The market breadth turns negative from positive in early afternoon trade. Positive Asian stocks boosted sentiment on the domestic stocks.
Trading for the week began on a firm note as the key benchmark indices saw a gap-up opening triggered by positive Asian stocks. Key benchmark indices extended early gains and hit fresh intraday high in morning trade. Stocks held firm in mid-morning trade.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, turned negative from positive in early afternoon trade. On the BSE, 1,232 shares fell and 1,226 shares rose. A total of 143 shares were unchanged. Breadth was strong till morning trade.
IT stocks advanced. Infosys (up 2.12%), HCL Technologies (up 2.68%), TCS (up 1.25%), Oracle Financial Services Software (up 0.75%), Tech Mahindra (up 0.62%), L&T Infotech (up 2.29%), MindTree (up 0.85%), Hexaware Technologies (up 1.41%) and Mphasis (up 4.22%) edged higher.
Wipro advanced 1.91%. Wipro on Saturday, 10 March 2018 that the investment in Denim Group has been completed on 9 March 2018. On 1 March 2018, Wipro had signed a definitive agreement to acquire a minority stake in Denim Group, a U.S. based leading application security solution provider.
Engineering & construction major L&T rose 0.87% after the company said its construction division has secured orders valued at Rs 2597 crore. The announcement was made during market hours today, 12 March 2018.
In a separate announcement made during market hours today, 12 March 2018, L&T Special Steels and Heavy Forgings, a joint venture of L&T and Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL), has received an order worth Rs 442 crore from NPCIL to supply forgings for steam generators.
Bharti Airtel gained 2.28%. National Company Law Tribunal, New Delhi, Principal Bench vide its order dated 8 March 2018, has sanctioned the Scheme of amalgamation between Telenor (India) Communications and Bharti Airtel and their respective shareholders and creditors. The announcement was made after market hours on Friday, 9 March 2018.
Shares of Bharti Infratel rose 1% after a foreign brokerage reportedly said that the stock valuations are cheap and maybe getting close to buy territory. Bharti Infratel is a provider of tower and related infrastructure and is a unit of Bharti Airtel.
MOIL rose 0.71% after the company said its board approved setting up Ferro Alloy plants at Balaghat and Gumgaon for Rs 418.82 crore. The announcement was made after market hours on Friday, 9 March 2018.
MOIL said that its board approved setting up Ferro Alloys plant at Balaghat mine. The 50000 MTPA project involves total investment of Rs 263.82 crore and it is expected to be commissioned by the end of calendar year 2021. Further, the board approved setting up Ferro Alloys plant at Gumgaon mine. The 25000 MTPA project involves total investment of Rs 155 crore and it is expected to be commissioned by the end of calendar year 2021. The setting up of the projects is a part of diversification options stipulated in the strategic management plan for the growth of the company.
Suzlon Energy was up 1.46% after the company announced its order win for development of 75 megawatts wind power project in Maharashtra. The announcement was made during market hours today, 12 March 2018.
Suzlon announced its order win for development of 75 megawatts (MW) wind power project from a leading independent power producer (IPP) through Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MSEDCL) bid. Suzlon will install around 36 units of S111-140m wind turbine generators (WTGs) with rated capacity of 2.1 MW each. The project will be located in Maharashtra and will be commissioned as per MSEDCL bid guidelines.
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.
In a related development which would benefit the exporters, the Council reviewed the progress in grant of refunds to exports of both IGST and Input Tax Credit. The Council appreciated that the pace of grant of IGST refund has picked up. Thereafter, the Council directed GSTN to expeditiously forward the balance refund claims to the Customs/Central GST/State GST authorities, as the case may be, for their immediate sanction and disbursal.
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.
In US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed back above 25,000 and the Nasdaq Composite Index ended at a record 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 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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