Key indices ended with small gains following mixed global cues. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rose 60.19 points or 0.18% to 33,940.44, as per the provisional closing data. The Nifty 50 index rose 11.95 points or 0.11% to 10,414.20, as per the provisional closing data. Steep selling in bank shares capped gains in key indices. Shares of public sector oil marketing companies (PSU OMCs) slumped following crude price rise.
Traders were cautious ahead of the earnings season beginning Friday with Infosys, and as the US Federal Reserve will release minutes of its 20-21 March 2018 meeting on Wednesday.
A steep rise in crude oil prices overnight also worried investors. Brent crude oil prices crossed $70 a barrel mark. In the global commodities markets, Brent for June 2018 settlement was up 8 cents at $71.12 a barrel. The contract surged $2.39 a barrel or 3.48% to settle at $71.04 a barrel during the previous trading session. Spike in oil prices raises India's import bill as the country imports majority of its crude requirements.
After opening with minor gains, key indices tumbled in morning trade. Indices pared losses and were trading with small losses in mid-morning trade. Key indices bounced back in afternoon trade. The Sensex rose 101.29 points, or 0.30% at the day's high of 33,981.54 in mid-afternoon trade, its highest intraday level since 13 March 2018. The index fell 129.51 points, or 0.38% at the day's low of 33,750.74 in morning trade, its lowest intraday level since 9 April 2018. The Nifty rose 25.90 points, or 0.25% at the day's high of 10,428.15 in early trade, its highest intraday level since 13 March 2018. The index fell 46.65 points, or 0.45% at the day's low of 10,355.60 in morning trade, its lowest intraday level since 9 April 2018.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was negative. On BSE, 1,516 shares fell and 1,192 shares rose. A total of 125 shares were unchanged.
Shares of public sector oil marketing companies (PSU OMCs) slumped. HPCL (down 7.61%), Indian Oil Corporation (down 6.50%) and BPCL (down 7.52%), edged lower. Higher crude oil prices could increase under-recoveries of PSU OMCs on domestic sale of LPG and kerosene at controlled prices. The government has already freed pricing of petrol and diesel.
Overseas, European equities were trading lower, tracking mixed cues from Asian market, with traders failing to take any significant succour from new signs trade tension between the US and China was easing.
China's factory inflation slowed for a fifth month while the consumer price index retreated from a four-year high. The producer price index rose 3.1% in March from a year earlier, compared with 3.7% in February. The consumer price index climbed 2.1%, the statistics bureau said Wednesday, versus 2.9% in February.
US stocks surged on Tuesday, 10 April 2018, thanks to a less-aggressive stance on trade taken by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Xi's conciliatory comments on tariffs sent prices of risky assets such as global equities and commodities higher.
Chinese President Xi said that Beijing plans to give foreign companies greater access to financial and manufacturing sectors. He also talked about a cut in tariffs on car imports and an improvement in protection of intellectual property, among other measures.
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