Stocks extended losses in mid-morning trade as fresh selling derailed an intraday recovery on the bourses. At 11:28 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 87.75 points or 0.26% at 34,104.90. The Nifty 50 index was down 21.85 points or 0.21% at 10,458.75. Most pharma shares gained. Telecom stocks saw mixed trend. Negative Asian stocks amid geopolitical tensions over Syria and trade war concerns weighed on the domestic bourses.
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.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was weak. On the BSE, 1,425 shares fell and 919 shares rose. A total of 160 shares were unchanged. Breadth was negative till morning trade.
Reliance Industries (RIL) fell 0.84%. RIL's subsidiary Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJIL) has signed a ~JPY 53.5 billion Samurai term loan with 7 year bullet maturity (the Facility). The Facility is guaranteed by RIL and will be used for funding RJIL's ongoing capital expenditure. The Facility will be shortly launched into syndication. The announcement was made on Saturday, 14 April 2018.
Meanwhile, RIL on Sunday, 15 April 2018 said that the company in conjunction with JM Financial Asset Reconstruction Company submitted a resolution plan for Alok Industries. The plan did not meet with the approval of the Committee of Creditors of Alok Industries as required under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, RIL said.
Most pharma shares gained. Cipla (up 4.36%), Dr Reddy's Laboratories (up 0.53%), Cadila Healthcare (up 0.04%), Lupin (up 1.66%), Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (up 0.78%), Aurobindo Pharma (up 1.1%) and Wockhardt (up 0.93%) rose.
Telecom stocks saw mixed trend. Idea Cellular (down 1.52%), MTNL (down 1.47%) and Reliance Communications (down 1.57%) declined. Bharti Airtel (up 0.29%) and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) (up 0.67%) rose.
On the macro front, 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, most Asian stocks were trading lower 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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