Key benchmark indices sharply pared losses and were trading near flat line in afternoon trade as India's annual wholesale price inflation slightly eased in March, helped by a fall in food prices. At 13:21 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 16.16 points or 0.05% at 34,176.49. The Nifty 50 index was up 3.30 points or 0.03% at 10,483.90. The market undertone was, however, weak due to mixed global stocks amid geopolitical tensions over Syria and trade war concerns.
A bout of volatility was seen in early trade as the key benchmark indices cut losses after a gap-down opening triggered by negative Asian stocks. The Sensex regained the psychological 34,000 level soon after an initial slide pulled it below that level in opening trade. Stocks recovered further lost ground in morning trade. Indices extended losses in mid-morning trade on fresh selling in index pivotals. Indices recovered sharply in afternoon trade after India's annual wholesale price inflation slightly eased in March.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was negative. On the BSE, 1,483 shares fell and 1,059 shares rose. A total of 167 shares were unchanged.
IT major Infosys was down 2.93%. The stock reacted to its Q4 March 2018 results declared after market hours on Friday, 13 April 2018. Infosys' consolidated net profit fell 28.1% to Rs 3690 crore on 1.6% increase in revenues to Rs 18083 crore in Q4 March 2018 over Q3 December 2017. The result are under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
On a consolidated basis, net profit grew 11.7% to Rs 16029 crore in the year ended 31 March 2018 over the year ended 31 March 2017. Revenues were Rs 70522 crore in the year ended 31 March 2018, a year on year (YoY) growth of 3% in reported terms and a growth of 5.8% in constant currency terms.
Infosys expects consolidated revenues to grow 6%-8% in constant currency in the fiscal year ending 31 March 2019 (FY 2019). It expects consolidated revenues to grow 8.2%-10.2% in rupee terms in FY 2019.
On 13 April 2018, Infosys entered into a definitive agreement to acquire WongDoody Holding Company, Inc., a US-based digital creative and consumer insights agency for a total consideration of up to $75 million including contingent consideration and retention payouts, subject to regulatory approvals and fulfillment of closing conditions.
Metal shares were mixed. Vedanta (down 1.51%), Tata Steel (down 1.21%), Hindustan Copper (down 1.17%), National Aluminium Company (down 0.45%), Hindalco Industries (down 0.13%) and JSW Steel (down 0.08%), edged lower. Hindustan Zinc (up 0.25%), Steel Authority of India (up 0.33%), NMDC (up 0.48%) and Jindal Steel & Power (up 1.22%), edged higher.
On the macro front, the annual rate of inflation, based on monthly Wholesale Price Index (WPI), stood at 2.47% (provisional) in March 2018 (over March, 2017) as compared to 2.48% (provisional) for the previous month and 5.11% during the corresponding month of the previous year. Build up inflation rate in the financial year so far was 2.47% compared to a build up rate of 5.11% in the corresponding period of the previous year, the Ministry of Commerce & Industry said in a statement today, 16 April 2018.
India's merchandise exports fell 0.7% to US$ 29.11 billion in March 2018 over a year ago. Meanwhile, merchandise imports moved up 7.1% to US$ 42.80 billion. The trade deficit jumped 28.6% to US$ 13.69 billion in March 2018 from US$ 10.65 billion in March 2017. The data was released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry after market hours on Friday, 13 April 2018.
Merchandise exports in rupees declined 1.9% to Rs 189271 crore, while imports moved up 5.8% to Rs 278297 crore in March 2018 over March 2017. The trade deficit rose to Rs 89026 crore in March 2018 compared with Rs 70127 crore in March 2017.
India's merchandise exports increased 10% to US$ 302.84 billion, while merchandise imports surged 19.7% to US$ 459.67 billion in April-March 2018. An increase in imports was driven by a 25.7% jump in oil imports to US$ 109.11 billion. India's merchandise trade deficit galloped to US$ 156.83 billion in April-March 2018 from US$ 108.92 billion in April-March 2017.
Overseas, shares in Europe and Asia were mixed as investors assess airstrikes against Syria over the weekend and focus on the start of earnings season in the US as well as speeches by Federal Reserve officials. US stocks fell on Friday, 13 April 2018 as weakness in shares of banks and finance firms added to the political and trade tensions weighing on the market.
US President Donald Trump declared mission accomplished via Twitter on Saturday, a day after the US, France and the UK launched military strikes targeting three chemical weapons facilities in Syria in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack in Douma on April 7. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly warned on Sunday that further Western attacks on Syria would bring chaos to world affairs, as Washington prepared to increase pressure on Russia with new economic sanctions.
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