Weakness persisted on the bourses in early afternoon trade. At 12:29 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 142.05 points or 0.39% at 35,892.06. The Nifty 50 index was down 45.40 points or 0.42% at 10,748.25. Oil stocks declined.
Domestic stocks drifted lower in early trade on selling pressure in index pivotals. Key indices extended decline in morning trade. Stocks hovered in negative zone in mid-morning trade.
The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was down 0.18%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index was down 0.23%.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was negative. On the BSE, 899 shares rose and 1325 shares fell. A total of 115 shares were unchanged.
Oil stocks declined. Among shares of oil exploration and production (E&P) companies, Reliance Industries (down 1.21%), ONGC (down 3.07%) and Oil India (down 1.42%) edged lower.
Shares of state-run oil marketing companies fell after Brent crude prices firmed up in international market. HPCL (down 4.06%), BPCL (down 4.12%) and Indian Oil Corporation (down 4.69%) dropped.
Higher crude oil prices could increase under-recoveries of PSU OMCs on domestic sale of LPG and kerosene at controlled prices. The government has already freed pricing of petrol and diesel.
In the global commodities markets, Brent for April 2019 settlement was up 62 cents at $64.23 a barrel. The contract rose $1.19 per barrel, or 1.91% to settle at $63.61 a barrel during the previous trading session.
VA Tech Wabag rose 3.21% after the company said it secured order worth Rs 520 crore from Jajmau Tannery Effluent Treatment Association. The scope of the contract includes engineering, supply, erection, construction and commissioning of 20 MLD Tertiary Treatment Plant over a period of 24 months, the statement said. The announcement was made during trading hours today, 14 February 2019.
Overseas, most Asian stocks were trading lower Thursday as investors awaited the outcome of high-level trade talks between the U.S. and China, and data on the Chinese economy. A third day of bilateral trade negotiations were under way in Beijing, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer expected Thursday for more high-level discussions.
On the data front, China's exports unexpectedly accelerated last month, official data released on Thursday showed. The country's exports surged 9.1% from a year earlier in January, reversing a 4.4% decline in December. Imports dropped 1.5% in January, following a 7.6% decrease in December. China's trade surplus with all trading partners stood at $39.16 billion in January, much smaller than the $57.06 billion surplus recorded in December.
The Japanese economy rebounded in the final quarter of 2018 due to solid spending by households and companies. The economy expanded at an annualized rate of 1.4% in the October-December period following a 2.6% contraction in the previous quarter, government data showed Thursday. The economy grew 0.3% from the quarter before.
U.S. stocks closed higher Wednesday, trimming gains but with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq rising for a fourth straight session, on hopes that negotiators will come close to a deal after trade talks. US President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he would allow for flexibility on the timeline for a deal with China if an agreement looks close. Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping is reportedly expected to meet key members of the U.S. delegation on Friday.
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