Key benchmark indices extended gains and hit fresh intraday high in afternoon trade. At 13:28 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 166.24 points or 0.49% at 34,106.68. The Nifty 50 index was up 43.85 points or 0.42% at 10,461. The Sensex was currently trading well above the 34,000 mark after gyrating above and below that level so far during the day. Auto stocks rose. Most FMCG stocks rose.
Key indices opened on a dull note and firmed up as the session progressed. Indices turned range bound in early afternoon trade as profit booking emerged at higher levels.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was negative. On BSE, 1,315 shares fell and 1,186 shares rose. A total of 137 shares were unchanged.
Tata Motors rose 1.75% after Tata Motors group global wholesales, including Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), rose 18% to 153,156 units in March 2018 over March 2017. Global wholesales of all Tata Motors' commercial vehicles and Tata Daewoo range rose 33% to 56,399 units in March 2018 over March 2017. Global wholesales of all passenger vehicles rose 11% to 96,757 units in March 2018 over March 2017. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 11 April 2018.
Global wholesales for JLR were 76,221 vehicles in March 2018 (including CJLR volumes of 7,126 units). Jaguar wholesales for the month were 21,048 vehicles, while Land Rover wholesales for the month were 55,173 vehicles. CJLR a joint venture between JLR and Chery Automobiles and is an unconsolidated subsidiary for JLR.
Most FMCG stocks rose. Nestle India (up 1.03%), Britannia Industries (up 0.92%), Colgate-Palmolive (India) (up 0.62%), Dabur India (up 0.65%), Godrej Consumer Products (up 0.41%), Tata Global Beverages (up 0.04%), Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care (up 0.42%) Bajaj Corp (up 0.1%) rose.
On macro front, the government will announce industrial production data for February 2018 later today, 12 April 2018. India's industrial production rose by 7.5% year-on-year in January 2018.
The government will also disclose inflation data based on consumer price index (CPI) for March 2017 later today, 12 April 2018. The all-India general CPI inflation dipped to four-month low of 4.44% in February 2018, compared with 5.07% in January 2018.
Overseas, fresh dealmaking activity helped support European shares in early trading on Thursday. Asian shares declined after Syria tensions and hawkish statements from the US Federal Reserve dented investors' sentiment. US stocks declined on Wednesday, as worries about geopolitical developments deflated the buying mood on Wall Street. A tweet by President Donald Trump implied the possibility of a military strike in Syria and set the downbeat tone for the session.
Trump's tweet that Russia should "get ready" for a potential strike on Syria came after a likely chemical weapons attack over the weekend on a rebel-held town in the eastern Ghouta region of Syria. The newfound focus on geopolitics took the focus off a trade spat between the US and China.
Investors also digested the release of minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) March meeting, which reflected that all policymakers expected the US economy to continue growing and for inflation to rise. Those views strengthened the belief that more interest rate hikes lay ahead.
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