Overseas, Asian stocks edged higher, tracking moderate gains seen on Wall Street following the implementation of US tariffs on steel and aluminum. US stocks closed higher yesterday, 8 March 2018 after President Donald Trump implemented steel and aluminum import tariffs that excluded Canada and Mexico, two key US trade partners.
Trump signed a proclamation yesterday, 8 March 2018 authorizing the tariffs at 25% on steel imports and 10% on aluminium, the same level he promised when he revealed the plan on 1 March. The aluminium and steel import tariffs will take effect in 15 days, as per reports.
In Europe, the European Central Bank (ECB), at its monetary policy meeting yesterday, 8 March 2018, kept its broader policy unchanged. The central bank said it could still extend its 2.55 trillion euro ($3.16 trillion) bond purchase scheme beyond September if needed.
Among corporate news back home, Bharti Airtel's meeting of committee of directors is scheduled on 13 March 2018, to consider issue of listed, unsecured, rated, redeemable, non-convertible debentures (NCDs Series I and II) aggregating upto Rs 3000 crore on private placement basis. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 8 March 2018.
Infosys issued a clarification with regard to media articles in relation to the alleged fraud concerning the Income Tax department and the First Information report (FIR) by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in relation to these allegations. Infosys said it is not named as an accused party in the said FIR. So far it has not been contacted by the CBI in connection with this matter. Infosys will co-operate with law enforcement agencies as and when it is approached, it added. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 8 March 2018.
In political news, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), ally of National Democratic Alliance (NDA), has pulled out its two ministers from the Narendra Modi cabinet yesterday, 8 March 2018, in protest against the injustice to Andhra Pradesh. However, the party decided to continue supporting the NDA. The action by the TDP, which has sixteen members in the Lok Sabha and six in Rajya Sabha, will have no impact on the stability of the Modi government which has sufficient numbers in Parliament but will be seen as a big political setback as TDP is the first pre-poll ally to pull out of the Centre in nearly four years.
Key benchmark indices registered modest gains on bargain hunting yesterday, 8 March 2018 after a sell-off in the last six sessions. The Sensex had surged 318.48 points or 0.96% to settle at 33,351.57, its highest closing level since 5 March 2018.
The trading activity showed that the foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 364.80 crore on 8 March 2018 as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 675.26 crore on 8 March 2018, as per provisional data.
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