Key barometers were hovering in narrow range near flat line in early afternoon trade. At 12:17 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 8.25 points or 0.02% at 33,872. The Nifty 50 index was down 18.10 points or 0.17% at 10,384.15.
Traders were cautious ahead of the earnings season beginning Friday with Infosys, and as the US Federal Reserve will release minutes of its 20-21 March 2018 meeting on Wednesday.
A steep rise in crude oil prices overnight also worried investors. Brent crude oil prices crossed $70 a barrel mark. In the global commodities markets, Brent for June 2018 settlement was down 35 cents at $70.69 a barrel. The contract surged $2.39 a barrel or 3.48% to settle at $71.04 a barrel during the previous trading session. Spike in oil prices raises India's import bill as the country imports majority of its crude requirements.
Overseas, most Asian shares rose as investors sentiment improved after China's President Xi Jinping helped ease fears over a US-China trade row. China's factory inflation slowed for a fifth month while the consumer price index retreated from a four-year high. The producer price index rose 3.1% in March from a year earlier, compared with 3.7% in February. The consumer price index climbed 2.1%, the statistics bureau said Wednesday, versus 2.9% in February.
US stocks surged on Tuesday, 10 April 2018, thanks to a less-aggressive stance on trade taken by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Xi's conciliatory comments on tariffs sent prices of risky assets such as global equities and commodities higher.
Chinese President Xi said that Beijing plans to give foreign companies greater access to financial and manufacturing sectors. He also talked about a cut in tariffs on car imports and an improvement in protection of intellectual property, among other measures.
Back home, after opening with minor gains, key indices tumbled in morning trade. Indices pared losses and were trading with small losses since mid-morning trade.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was negative. On BSE, 1,394 shares fell and 1,010 shares rose. A total of 128 shares were unchanged.
Auto shares were mixed. TVS Motor Company (down 1.59%), Hero MotoCorp (down 0.49%), Tata Motors (down 0.38%), Ashok Leyland (down 0.21%) and Bajaj Auto (down 0.13%), edged lower. Maruti Suzuki India (up 0.06%), Escorts (up 1.13%) and Eicher Motors (up 1.96%), edged higher.
Auto major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) was up 0.41%. M&M announced during trading hours today, 11 April 2018, that Mahindra Defence signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ShinMaywa Industries, Japan, manufacturer of Amphibious Aircraft US-2, at Defexpo 2018, Chennai. The MoU offers both the companies to join forces in order to set up MRO services / manufacturing and assembling of structural parts & components for US-2 amphibian aircraft. This MOU also envisages both the companies to build up a strategic partnership for future versions of US-2 amphibian aircraft.
Most realty shares declined. Unitech (down 2.07%), Prestige Estates Projects (down 1.56%), Anant Raj (down 1.55%), Housing Development and Infrastructure (HDIL) (down 1.41%), Oberoi Realty (down 1.22%), Sobha (down 0.92%), Parsvnath Developers (down 0.72%), D B Realty (down 0.65%), Indiabulls Real Estate (down 0.22%), Mahindra Lifespace Developers (down 0.22%) and Sunteck Realty (down 0.18%), edged lower. DLF (up 0.16%), Omaxe (up 0.32%), Godrej Properties (up 1.60%), Peninsula Land (up 2.16%) and Phoenix Mills (up 2.72%), edged higher.
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