Overseas, Asian stocks were trading lower over 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.
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.
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.
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.
Back home,key benchmark indices ended with moderate losses on Thursday, 13 April 2017 as sentiment was subdued after domestic data showed that industrial production contracted in February and consumer price inflation edged up in March. The Sensex shed 182.03 points or 0.61% to settle at 29,461.45, its lowest closing level since 28 March 2017.
The trading activity on that day showed that the foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 407.88 crore on Thursday, 13 April 2017, as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 65.43 crore on Thursday, 13 April 2017, as per provisional data.
Among corporate news,shares of public sector oil marketing companies (PSU OMCs) will be watched. Petrol price was increased by Rs 1.39 per litre while diesel was made expensive by Rs 1.04 per litre. The price of both fuels - petrol and diesel - exclude state levies - which means the actual increase in price will be more after taking into account local value-added tax (VAT) - and took effect from the midnight of 15 April and 15 April 2017.
Dr Reddy's Laboratories 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. The market was shut on Friday, 14 April 2017, on account of public holiday.
On the macro front, the government will announce India's monthly inflation data based on wholesale price index (WPI) for March 2017 today, 17 April 2017. The annual rate of inflation, based on monthly WPI rose to 6.55% (provisional) in February 2017 over February 2016 as compared to 5.25% (provisional) in January 2017 and -0.85% in February 2016.
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.
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