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Barometers hold firm at higher levels

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Key benchmarks trimmed gains after hitting fresh intraday high in early afternoon trade. At 12:20 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 102.33 points or 0.29% at 35,858.59. The Nifty 50 index was up 29.80 points or 0.28% at 10,765.25.

Indices opened on a flat note and firmed up as the session progressed. Positive Asian cues boosted investors sentiment.

Broader market outperformed the main stock indices. Among secondary barometers, the BSE Mid-Cap index was up 0.47%. The BSE Small-Cap index was up 0.57%.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was positive. On BSE, 1306 shares rose and 905 shares fell. A total of 131 shares were unchanged.

Bharat Heavy Electricals (Bhel) was down 0.16%. Bhel announced during trading hours today, 21 February 2019, that it has achieved yet another milestone by successfully commissioning a 250 MW coal-based thermal power plant (TPP) in Bihar.

Cement shares advanced. UltraTech Cement (up 1.60%), Ambuja Cements (up 1.38%) and ACC (up 0.56%), edged higher.

Grasim Industries was up 2.16%. Grasim has exposure to cement sector through its holding in UltraTech Cement.

Telecom shares were mixed. MTNL (up 17.65%), Reliance Communications (up 2.93%) and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) (up 2.59%), edged higher. Vodafone Idea (down 0.16%) and Bharti Airtel (down 1.26%), edged lower.

Overseas, most Asian shares were trading higher on Thursday. US stock indices ended the choppy session moderately higher Wednesday, following the release of minutes from the US Federal Reserve's January meeting.

Fed minutes affirmed it would be "patient" on interest rate rises. Fed highlighted downside risks, including "the possibilities of a sharper-than-expected slowdown in global economic growth, particularly in China and Europe, a rapid waning of fiscal policy stimulus, or a further tightening of financial market conditions.

The minutes showed extensive discussion of market conditions, particularly on the emphasis that Fed actions were having on prices of risky assets like stocks and corporate bonds. The Fed also judged that a "patient" approach to interest rate hikes would be prudent as it continued to weigh various headwinds to growth.

On the trade front, President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the US may not increase tariffs on Chinese goods as scheduled after March 1, but he did raise the specter of addressing auto tariffs in Europe.

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

First Published: Thu, February 21 2019. 12:26 IST