Key benchmark indices were trading with small losses in afternoon trade after European stocks started day's trade with a negative bias. At 13:20 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 19.35 points or 0.07% at 29,299.75. The Nifty 50 index was down 12.65 points or 0.14% at 9,092.50. Telecom stocks declined while cement stocks traded mixed.
Domestic stocks struggled for direction so far during the session amid largely lower global cues. Key indices alternately hovered between the negative and positive terrain with the movement restricting within a tight range around the flat line so far.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was positive. On the BSE, 1,392 shares rose and 1,279 shares fell. A total of 155 shares were unchanged.
Telecom stocks declined. Bharti Airtel (down 0.61%), Idea Cellular (down 0.06%), Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) (down 0.69%) and Reliance Communications (RCom) (down 0.44%) declined. gained. MTNL rose 1.36%.
Shares of Bharti Infratel gained 1.93%. Bharti Infratel is a provider of tower and related infrastructure and is a unit of Bharti Airtel.
Grasim Industries advanced 0.66%. Grasim has exposure to the cement sector through its holding in UltraTech Cement.
RPP Infra Projects gained 1.41% after the consortium of Siemens and RPP Infra Projects won order from Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB). The joint bid was submitted by Siemens and RPP Infra Projects PGCB in respect of design, supply, erection, testing and commissioning of 230 KV and 132 KV substations on turnkey basis.
The scope of the order for RPP Infra Projects will be in the civil work with the share worth about Rs 97 crore.. The announcement was made during market hours today, 19 April 2017.
Sutlej Textiles and Industries rose 1.14% after the company said that pollution control board of Rajasthan has permitted the company to carry on with operations of dyeing plant at Bhawanimandi unit. The announcement was made during trading hours today, 19 April 2017.
On 8 November 2016, Sutlej Textiles and Industries had informed that the dyeing plant of Rajasthan Textile Mills, Bhawanimandi, a unit of company, was shut till further directions after receiving notice from the Pollution Control Board, Rajasthan. The impact of the shut down was negligible as the required dyed fibre was arranged from other units of the company.
The company announced today, 19 April 2017, that upon a review, the Pollution Control Board, Rajasthan, has permitted the company to carry on with the operations at the Bhawanimandi unit.
Meanwhile, India is pegged to be the fastest growing economy in the world in 2017-18 and will be a key driver for global growth, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said yesterday, 18 April 2017.
Retaining its growth forecast of 7.2% for India for the fiscal year 2018, the IMF, in its World Economic Outlook, also estimated that India would grow at 7.7% in 2018-19 and said that 8% growth in the medium-term is within reach. It pegged India's growth rate at 6.8% in FY 2017.
Meanwhile, India Meteorological Department (IMD) in its first stage forecast of southwest monsoon for 2017, yesterday, 18 April 2017, said that quantitatively, the monsoon seasonal rainfall is likely to be 96% of the long period average (LPA) with an error of 5%. Forecast assessment suggests 38% of probability for near normal monsoon rainfall, it added. IMD will issue the update forecasts in early June 2017, as a part of the second stage long range forecast of monsoon rainfall.
The June-September southwest monsoon is critical for the country's agriculture because a considerable part of the country's farmland is dependent on the rains for irrigation.
Overseas, most European and Asian stocks edged lower after British Prime Minister Theresa May's surprise decision to hold early elections.
May called for an early general election in June, reversing her earlier stance, in hopes of securing a stronger parliamentary mandate for Britain's formal exit from the European Union. Meanwhile, Theresa May will today, 19 April 2017 ask the House of Commons to support her call for a June general election.
US stocks declined yesterday, 18 April 2017, as investors unloaded stocks following disappointing financial reports from Johnson & Johnson and Goldman Sachs.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order yesterday, 18 April 2017 titled Buy American, Hire American while on a trip to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he called on federal agencies to overhaul the H-1B visa program. The order addresses to take prompt action to crack down on fraud and abuse within the US immigration system in order to protect workers.
In US economic news, manufacturing output fell in March for the first time since last August, according to a batch of industrial-production data released yesterday, 18 April 2017. Also, a reading on housing starts, which measure the number of new-home construction projects that broke ground during a given month, was slightly weaker than expected in March.
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