Key benchmarks trimmed losses after hitting fresh intraday low in afternoon trade. At 13:19 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 62.51 points or 0.17% at 36,332.52. The Nifty 50 index was down 16.35 points or 0.15% at 10,872.45. Metal shares bucked weak market trend.
Domestic stocks eked out small gains in early trade ahead of release of key domestic macro-economic data. Key indices reversed direction to sink in negative zone in morning trade. Key indices hovered in a small range in mid-morning trade.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was negative. On the BSE, 980 shares rose and 1321 shares fell. A total of 142 shares were unchanged.
Metal shares were in demand. Jindal Steel & Power (up 9.88%), Steel Authority of India (up 5.80%), JSW Steel (up 4.35%), Hindustan Copper (up 4.26%), Vedanta (up 3.16%), Tata Steel (up 2.65%), NMDC (up 1.70%), Hindustan Zinc (up 1.30%) and Hindalco Industries (up 0.68%), edged higher. National Aluminium Company was down 1.02%.
L&T was up 0.77%. L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering (LTHE), a wholly owned subsidiary of L&T, has won a mega order from Sonatrach-Algeria. The Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Commissioning (EPCC) contract is to set up three Central Processing (CPF) facilities in Algeria. The announcement was made during market hours today, 12 February 2019.
Axis Bank fell 0.09% to Rs 709.70. The Specified Undertaking of the United Trust of India (SUUTI) is selling up to 5.07 crore (1.98%) equity shares of face value of Rs 2 each of Axis Bank today, 12 February 2019 ("T day"), (for non-retail investors only) and on 13 February 2019 ("T+1 day") (for retail investors and non-retail investors who choose to carry forward their un-allotted bids) with an option to additionally sell 2.63 crore (1.02%) equity shares of the company (the "oversubscription option").
The offer is taking place on a separate window of the stock exchanges on 12 February 2019 ("T" day) and 13 February 2019 ("T+1"day) from 9:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Indian Standard Time) on both days, as per details given below. The floor price for the offer is Rs 689.52 per equity share. As on 31 December 2018, SUUTI held 9.289% stake in Axis Bank. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 11 February 2019.
On the first day of the bidding for offer for sale (OFS) today, 12 February 2019 , as at 12:45 IST, bids were received for 75.82 lakh shares from the non-retail investors, representing a subscription of 16.60%.
On the macro front, data of Consumer Price Index (CPI) for January and Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for December 2018 is slated to be released after market hours today, 12 February 2019. India's industrial production growth slowed sharply to 0.5% year-on-year in November 2018 from an upwardly revised 11-month high of 8.4% in the previous month.
Overseas, most Asian stocks rose with investors looking to a new round of Sino-US trade talks as the world's two largest economies try to resolve a tariff dispute that has put a dent on global growth and corporate earnings.
The latest round of trade negotiations between the US and China began Monday with working-level talks in Beijing, while Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are reportedly due to arrive Thursday for more high-level discussions.
In Europe, the UK, meanwhile, is bracing to exit the European Union on March 29 with or without a trade agreement in hand.
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