Key equity indices firmed up once again and were trading near day's high in afternoon trade. At 13:25 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 124.35 points or 0.33% at 37,660.01. The Nifty 50 index was up 13.20 points or 0.12% at 11,314.40.
A bout of volatility was seen in early trade as the key indices regained positive zone soon after erasing early gains. Key benchmark indices trimmed gains in morning trade. Stocks regained strength in mid-morning trade. Indices pared gains in early afternoon trade.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was weak. On the BSE, 995 shares rose and 1501 shares fell. A total of 151 shares were unchanged.
Axis Bank was down 0.30% to Rs 740. The stock reversed trend after hitting record high of Rs 750.90 in morning trade. Axis Bank said that its board approved the appointment of Rakesh Makhija, independent director as the non-executive (part-time) chairman of the bank, for three years, with effect from 18 July 2019 upto 17 July 2022, subject to the approval of the Reserve Bank of India and the shareholders of the bank. The existing term of Dr. Sanjiv Misra, non-executive (part-time) chairman of the bank will expire with effect from the close of business hours on 17 July 2019. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 12 March 2019.
Infosys was up 0.10%. Infosys said that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Infosys Finacle, announced that Hatton National Bank (HNB), a leading private sector commercial bank operating in Sri Lanka, has selected Finacle Trade Connect to enable a blockchain-based domestic and cross-border trade finance network. The Finacle Trade Connect solution will be used by HNB to pilot a trade network with other corresponding banking partners and its corporate clients. The network is expected to help HNB and other participating entities substantially increase automation and transparency, while efficiently managing risks in trade and supply chain financing operations. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 12 March 2019.
On the macro front, industrial production and inflation data was released by the government after market hours yesterday, 12 March 2019. India's industrial production (base year 2011-12=100) rose at slower pace of 1.7% in January 2019, compared with 2.6% growth recorded in December 2018. The industrial production growth for December 2018 has been revised upwards from 2.4% increase reported provisionally.
The all-India general CPI inflation rose to 2.57% in February 2019 (new base 2012=100), compared with 1.97% in January 2019. The corresponding provisional inflation rate for rural area was 1.81% and urban area 3.43% in February 2019 as against 1.22% and 2.91% in January 2019. The core CPI inflation eased to 5.29% in February 2019 compared with 5.35% in January 2019.
Overseas, most Asian stocks were trading lower as investors awaited another make-or-break parliamentary vote on Brexit. US stocks closed mostly higher Tuesday, led by the health care and utilities sectors.
In US economic data, the consumer-price index rose 0.2% in February following three months of no change, the Labor Department said. Core prices, which strip out volatile changes in the cost of food an energy rose 0.1%. Year-over-year, overall inflation fell from growth of 1.6% in January to 1.5%, while annual core inflation fell from 2.2% to 2.1%.
In Europe, UK lawmakers once again rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal. Parliament will vote later Wednesday on whether to leave the EU with no deal and if that fails, another vote on Thursday to decide whether to extend the Brexit deadline.
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