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Market drifts lower in quiet trade

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Key benchmark indices drifted lower in a quiet session of trade due to lack of cues as most remained shut for holiday. The barometer index, the S&P Sensex, fell 47.79 points or 0.16% at 29,413.66. The 50 index fell 11.50 points or 0.13% at 9,139.30. Trading activity was subdued as investors remained on the sidelines on rising geopolitical concerns.

The gained 32.63 points or 0.11% at the day's high of 29,494.08 in mid-morning trade. The index fell 98.17 points or 0.33% at the day's low of 29,363.28 in early trade, its lowest level since 28 March 2017. The gained 9.20 points or 0.1% at the day's high of 9160 in mid-morning trade. The index fell 30.55 points or 0.33% at the day's low of 9120.25 in early trade, its lowest level since 29 March 2017.

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. Market remained in negative zone in afternoon trade. Stocks continued to trade with negative bias in mid-afternoon and late trade.

The Mid-Cap index was up 0.25%. The Small-Cap index was up 0.49%. Both these indices outperformed the

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was positive. On the BSE, 1,486 shares rose and 1,405 shares fell. A total of 198 shares were unchanged.

The total turnover on BSE amounted to Rs 3465.39 crore, higher than the turnover of Rs 3258.92 crore registered during the previous trading session on Thursday, 13 April 2017. Domestic bourses were shut on Friday, 14 April 2017, on account of public holiday.

L&T rose 0.35% after the company said that its construction L&T Construction has won orders worth Rs 2694 crore across various business segments. The announcement was made during market hours today, 17 April 2017.

Dr Reddy's Laboratories gained 0.7% after the company announced that the audit of its API Srikakulam plant in Andhra Pradesh by the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) was completed on Friday, 14 April 2017, with no observations. The announcement was made on Friday, 14 April 2017.

Realty stocks logged steep gains led by Indiabulls Real Estate. Housing Development and Infrastructure (up 8.23%), D B Realty (up 13.18%), DLF (up 8.08%), Sobha (up 2.75%), Godrej Properties (up 6.08%), Oberoi Realty (up 0.57%), Parsvnath Developers (up 12.07%), Unitech (up 6.74%) and Prestige Estates Projects (up 2.12%) gained.

Indiabulls Real Estate jumped 41.76% to Rs 150.05 after the company said its board considered various proposals for restructuring the business. The announcement was made during market hours today, 17 April 2017.

Indiabulls Real Estates' board considered the possibility of streamlining its existing 'residential', 'commercial' and 'leasing' businesses by segregating 'commercial & leasing' business carried on by itself and/or through its special purpose vehicles (SPVs) and vesting the same into 'Indiabulls Commercial Assets (ICAL) and restructuring/reorganizing its businesses.

The restructuring could be done either (i) by restructuring by way of placing ICAL as a separate holding company under the company to hold its assets and investments relating to 'commercial & leasing' business segment and to undertake the business & operations of 'commercial & leasing' business segment and/or explore opportunities to bring in strategic investments; or (ii) by reorganizing its existing businesses by way of a demerger of the undertakings, business, activities & operations pertaining to its commercial & leasing business segments.

On the macro front, the inflation based on wholesale price index (WPI) rose at 5.70% in March 2017 from a year earlier, government data released during market hours today, 17 April 2017 showed. In February, prices rose a provisional 6.55% , while the January inflation rate was revised to 5.53% from 5.25% earlier.

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

First Published: Mon, April 17 2017. 15:49 IST