Key benchmark indices continued to trade with negative bias in mid-afternoon trade. At 14:25 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 47.74 points or 0.16% at 29,413.71. The Nifty 50 index was down 20.05 points or 0.22% at 9,130.75. Trading activity was subdued as investors remained on the sidelines on rising geopolitical concerns.
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.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, once again turned positive from negative. On the BSE, 1,421 shares rose and 1,402 shares fell. A total of 152 shares were unchanged.
Most pharma shares declined. Lupin (down 1.15%), Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (down 2.26%), Alkem Laboratories (down 0.22%), Cadila Healthcare (down 0.73%), Cipla (down 0.03%), Aurobindo Pharma (down 0.77%) and Wockhardt (down 0.49%) fell. Glenmark Pharmaceuticals (up 0.68%), GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals (up 0.24%) rose.
Dr Reddy's Laboratories gained 1.16% 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.
Most auto stocks rose. Escorts (up 0.86%), Bajaj Auto (up 0.43%), Hero MotoCorp (up 0.31%), Eicher Motors (up 0.17%) and Ashok Leyland (up 0.18%) Maruti Suzuki India (up 0.36%) rose. Tata Motors (down 0.43%), Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) (down 0.85%), and TVS Motor Company (down 0.78%) declined.
Polaris Consulting & Services surged 7.66% to Rs 212.25 on reports a domestic brokerage has maintained buy rating on the stock. The acquisition of Polaris Consulting & Services (PCSL) by Virtusa has opened up significant opportunities for the company, the broker said. PCSL can now offer end-to-end solutions in banking, financial services, insurance (BFSI) industry resulting in more clients, service offerings and digitization related projects.
Post the acquisition PCSL has restructured its clients and eliminated low margin clients leading to effective utilization of its resources, the broker reportedly said.
Manaksia Industries hit a lower circuit limit of 5% at Rs 37.05 at 10:47 IST on BSE after consolidated net profit declined 55.82% to Rs 6.30 crore on 80.93% rise in net sales to Rs 60.81 crore in Q4 March 2017 over Q4 March 2016. The result was announced on Saturday, 15 April 2017.
On the macro front, the inflation based on wholesale price index (WPI) dropped to 5.7% (provisional) for the month of March 2017 over March 2016 as compared to 6.55% (provisional) for February 2017 and -0.45% during March 2016. Build up inflation rate in the financial year so far was 5.7% compared to a build up rate of -0.45% in the corresponding period of the previous year. The announcement was made during market hours today, 17 April 2017.
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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