Key benchmark indices were gyrating above and below the flat line in mid-morning trade. At 11:21 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 3.92 points or 0.01% at 29,457.53. The Nifty 50 index was down 2.30 points or 0.03% at 9,148.50.
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. Indices recovered from lower levels and were hovering a tad below the flat line in morning trade.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was positive. On the BSE, 1,355 shares rose and 1,144 shares fell. A total of 145 shares were unchanged.
Overseas, Asian stocks were trading lower 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.
Back home, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (down 2.31%), Asian Paints (down 1.29%) and NTPC (down 1.46%) edged lower from the Sensex pack.
Capital goods stocks saw mixed trend. Bharat Heavy Electricals (Bhel) (up 0.35%), BEML (up 0.26%), Bharat Electronics (up 0.71%), Punj Lloyd (up 2.43%) rose. Siemens (down 0.28%), Thermax (down 1.09%) and ABB India (down 0.64%) fell.
L&T rose 0.19% after the company said that its construction L&T Construction has won orders worth Rs 2694 crore across various business segments. The announcement was made during market hours today, 17 April 2017.
Cement stocks gained. Ambuja Cements (up 0.22%), ACC (up 0.18%), UltraTech Cement (up 0.07%) gained. Shree Cement (down 0.23%) fell.
Grasim Industries was up 1.53%. Grasim has exposure to the cement sector through its holding in UltraTech Cement.
On the macro front, the government will today, 17 April 2017 announce monthly inflation data based on wholesale price index (WPI) for March 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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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)