Key benchmark indices hovered in a narrow range with modest gains in afternoon trade. At 13:15 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 109.99 points or 0.32% at 34,027.93. The Nifty 50 index was up 45.15 points or 0.43% at 10,466.55. The Sensex was trading above the 34,000 level. Domestic macroeconomic data released after market hours yesterday, 12 March 2018, signaling an economic turnaround boosted the sentiment.
Volatility struck bourses in early trade as the key benchmark indices turned positive soon after an initial decline triggered by subdued Asian stocks. Stocks extended gains and hit fresh intraday highs in morning trade. Key benchmark indices trimmed some gains in mid-morning trade and hovered with modest gains so far.
The breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was strong. On the BSE, 1,738 shares advanced and 772 shares declined. A total of 124 shares were unchanged.
FMCG stocks gained. Nestle India (up 1.04%), Marico (up 0.55%), Dabur India (up 0.49%), Colgate-Palmolive (India) (up 0.4%), Britannia Industries (up 0.04%), Godrej Consumer Products (up 0.13%) and Hindustan Unilever (up 0.03%) edged higher. Emami (down 0.73%) and P&G Hygiene and Health Care (down 0.16%) edged lower.
Capital goods stocks also advanced. Suzlon Energy (up 2.47%), Praj Industries (up 2.13%), Siemens (up 0.96%), Bharat Electronics (up 0.63%), BEML (up 0.38%), Bhel (up 0.35%) and L&T (up 0.13%) edged higher. ABB India (down 0.52%) and Thermax (down 0.49%) edged lower.
Telecom major Bharti Airtel rose 0.37% at Rs 422.30 after the company completed allotment of 8.54 crore equity shares to Singtel International Investments, an affiliate of Singtel. With the aforesaid allotment, Singtel's total stake (along with its affiliates) in Bharti Telecom has increased to 48.9%, whereas Bharti Enterprises continues to hold over 50% stake in Bharti Telecom. The announcement was made during market hours today, 13 March 2018.
Uflex surged 5.44% at Rs 347.95 after the company unveiled its first in-house manufactured Gearless C.I. Flexo printing machine. The first ever made in India Gearless Central Impression Flexo Printing Machine is now ready at Uflex's engineering plant at Noida, the company said in a statement. The announcement was made during market hours today, 13 March 2018.
Domestic macroeconomic data released after market hours yesterday, 12 March 2018, signaled an economic turnaround. The lower-than-expected CPI inflation and higher-than-expected IIP data will allay fears of an interest rate hike by the Reserve Bank of India in its next policy meeting scheduled in the first week of April.
India's industrial production (IIP) continued to record a strong growth for the third straight month at 7.5% in January 2018 from 7.1% growth in December 2017. The manufacturing sector's production surged 8.7% in January 2018, supporting overall growth in industrial production.
The all-India general consumer price index (CPI) inflation dipped to four-month low of 4.44% in February 2018, compared with 5.07% in January 2018 and at 3.65% in February 2017. However, the core CPI inflation rose marginally to 5.04% in February 2018 compared with 5% in January 2018.
Overseas, most Asian stocks edged lower ahead of US reading on inflation due today, 13 March 2018, which is likely to give some idea about whether the Federal Reserve will accelerate its pace of rate increases.
In US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index finished lower Monday, 12 March 2018 weighed down by the industrials sector, while the Nasdaq Composite Index closed at a record, in part due to optimism over Friday's jobs data, which showed solid economic growth without triggering wage pressure.
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