Key benchmarks pared gains in afternoon trade. At 13:20 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex rose 128.55 points or 0.39% at 33,161.64. The Nifty 50 index advanced 36.45 points or 0.36% at 10,190.65. IT shares were trading higher while most metal shares declined.
Key indices started the session on a strong footing on positive Asian stocks as worries surrounding trade war eased on reports US President Donald Trump's import tariff plan may spare select countries from much of the impact. Indices trimmed gains in morning trade. Later, indices came off the day's low and traded with modest gains so far.
The breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was weak. On the BSE, 1,637 shares declined and 930 shares advanced. A total of 143 shares were unchanged.
IT shares were in demand. Infosys (up 1.21%), Tech Mahindra (up 0.65%), Oracle Financial Services Software (up 0.40%), Hexaware Technologies (up 0.35%), TCS (up 0.30%), Wipro (up 0.28%), HCL Technologies (up 0.21%) and MphasiS (up 0.05%), edged higher. Persistent Systems (down 0.31%) and MindTree (down 0.90%), edged lower.
Most metal shares declined. Hindustan Copper (down 1.61%), Hindalco Industries (down 1.09%), Tata Steel (down 0.89%), NMDC (down 0.69%), JSW Steel (down 0.55%), Jindal Steel & Power (down 0.45%) and Vedanta (down 0.45%), edged lower. Hindustan Zinc (up 0.18%), Steel Authority of India (up 0.61%) and National Aluminium Company (up 1.35%), edged higher.
Overseas, Asian stocks were trading higher amid news of potential US tariff exemptions. US stocks closed well off session lows yesterday, 7 March 2018 after the White House hinted Canada and Mexico could be exempt from tariffs proposed by President Donald Trump.
In Europe, the European Central Bank's (ECB) monetary policy statement is due later today, 8 March 2018. The central bank is expected to be cautious to prevent any unwanted tightening of financing conditions amid mounting global insecurities, especially in the wake of recent tariffs announcement by the US President.
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