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Equities turn volatile after US-China trade deal, metal stocks drag indices lower


Equity benchmark indices reversed morning gains on Thursday and traded lower in the afternoon session as global oil prices rose after the United States and China signed phase one of the trade agreement.

Brent was 45 cents or 0.7 per cent higher at 64.45 dollars a barrel while US crude was up by 39 cents at 58.20 dollars a barrel.

Under the deal to call a truce in a trade war between the world's two biggest economies, China committed to buying over 50 billion dollars more of US oil, liquefied natural gas and other energy products over two years.

At 12:30 pm, the BSE S & P Sensex down by 29 points to 41,844 while the Nifty 50 edged lower by 12 points at 12,331. Sectoral indices at the National Stock Exchange were mixed with Nifty metal slipping by 1.43 per cent.

Meanwhile, Moody's Investors Service said the US-China pact could help boost bilateral exports and lead to an improvement in confidence as well as investment.

"But the details of the agreement suggest that there remains considerable scope for friction between the two sides," said Michael Taylor, Managing Director of Moody's Investors Service Credit Strategy.

Among stocks, metal majors took a hit with Vedanta down by 2 per cent at Rs 161.25 per cent while JSW Steel and Tata Steel slipped by 1.7 per cent each and Hindalco by 1.4 per cent.

The other prominent losers included NTPC, Coal India, GAIL, Hero MotoCorp, Tech Mahindra and Grasim. But Eicher Motors climbed up by 4 per cent at Rs 21,449.90 per share while Nestle India gained by 2.7 per cent.

Meanwhile, global stocks inched ahead to a record high after the United States and China signed an initial deal to defuse their 18-month trade war, though financial markets were wary as several thorny issues remained unresolved.

The disputes between the world's two largest economies have weighed on global economic growth and hampered investments. Analysts said the deal does not address structural economic issues that led to the full-blown conflict.


(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 16 2020. 12:43 IST