Key benchmark indices were trading with modest gains in mid-afternoon trade. At 14:26 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 111.71 points or 0.38% at 29,525.37. The Nifty 50 index was up 28.60 points or 0.31% at 9,167.90. Gains in ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and ITC boosted sentiment on domestic bourses.
After seeing a gap-up opening, the key benchmark indices extended gains and hit fresh intraday high in morning trade. Indices hovered in a tight range in positive terrain till early afternoon trade. Key benchmark indices pared intraday gains in afternoon trade as lower opening in European stocks pulled local indices off their highs. Firmness in most Asian stocks had aided initial gains.
The breadth, indicating overall health of the market was positive.
On the BSE, 1,486 shares rose and 1,302 shares fell. A total of 153 shares were unchanged.
Most FMCG stocks fell. Britannia Industries (down 0.39%), Colgate-Palmolive (India) (down 0.8%), Dabur India (down 0.63%), Godrej Consumer Products (down 0.5%), Tata Global Beverages (down 0.1%), Jyothy Laboratories (down 0.81%), Bajaj Corp (down 1.04%) rose.
GlaxoSmithkline Consumer Healthcare (up 0.09%), Hindustan Unilever (up 0.09%), Marico (up 0.03%), Nestle India (up 0.27%), Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care (up 0.22%) fell.
Most pharma stocks declined. Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (down 1.02%), Alkem Laboratories (down 2.05%), GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals (down 0.62%), Cadila Healthcare (down 0.59%), Cipla (down 0.14%), Dr Reddy's Laboratories (down 0.41%) fell.
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals (up 1.28%), Lupin (up 0.43%), Aurobindo Pharma (up 2.81%) and Wockhardt (up 0.55%) rose.
RattanIndia Power fell 3.61% to Rs 8.82, with the stock sliding on profit booking after yesterday's rally. RattanIndia Power had rallied 16.71% in the preceding one trading session to settle at Rs 9.15 yesterday, 17 April 2017, from its closing of Rs 7.84 on 13 April 2017.
On the macro front, India Meteorological Department (IMD) will announce its first long range forecast for 2017 southwest monsoon, today, 18 April 2017. 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 stocks were trading lower. Most Asian stocks rose as a strong post-Easter finish on Wall Street provided upward momentum. US stocks rose the most in six weeks yesterday, 17 April 2017 as investors turned their attention to first-quarter corporate earnings.
Geopolitical tensions, notably those between the US and North Korea, have heightened worries about aggressions escalating into a nuclear confrontation. Over the weekend, North Korea put on a massive military parade, followed by a failed missile launch. In an unannounced visit to the Korean Peninsula's demilitarized zone, US Vice President Mike Pence yesterday, 17 April 2017 warned North Korea not to test the resolve of President Donald Trump or the military strength of the US.
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