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Strong market breadth

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Stocks hovered in positive zone in afternoon trade. At 13:24 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 135.19 points or 0.37% at 36,577.73. The Nifty 50 index was up 46.40 points or 0.42% at 11,034.05.

After opening higher, indices pared gains in morning trade. Benchmarks firmed up once again in mid-morning trade and were trading near the day's high in early afternoon trade. The Nifty was trading above the psychologically important 11,000 mark after opening above that level.

Among secondary barometers, the BSE Mid-Cap index was up 0.36%. The BSE Small-Cap index was up 0.94%. Both these indices outperformed the Sensex.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was strong. On BSE, 1636 shares rose and 881 shares fell. A total of 146 shares were unchanged.

Reliance Industries (up 2.49%), Vedanta (up 2.11%), ICICI Bank (up 1.92%), Bajaj Finance (up 1.48%) and ITC (up 1.43%) edged higher from the Sensex pack.

Tata Motors (down 2.19%), Axis Bank (down 1.93%), Hero MotoCorp (down 1.78%), Yes Bank (down 1.05%) and Hindustan Unilever (down 0.96%) edged lower from the Sensex pack.

Bharti Airtel rose 0.55% after the company announced collaboration with Zoom Video Communications, Inc., a modern enterprise video-first unified communications service, to launch India's first high quality Unified Communications service offering, an integrated and secure platform for High Definition (HD) audio, video and web conferencing. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 5 March 2019.

Larsen & Toubro was up 0.84%. The company announced during trading hours today, 6 March 2019, that heavy civil infrastructure business of L&T Construction has secured orders from Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation for the design and construction of the phase - 2 works.

Cipla was down 0.66%. Cipla before trading hours today, 6 March 2019, announced a phased launch of generic cinacalcet hydrochloride tablets (30mg, 60mg and 90mg) in the USA. The launch is a subject of ongoing litigation.

Cipla's cinacalcet hydrochloride tablets (30mg, 60mg and 90mg) is AB-rated generic therapeutic equivalent version of Sensipar, a branded drug marketed by Amgen, Inc. Cinacalcet tablets are indicated for the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism (HPT) in adult patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) on dialysis, for the treatment of hypercalcemia in adult patients with Parathyroid Carcinoma, and for treatment of severe hypercalcemia in adult patients with primary HPT who are unable to undergo parathyroidectomy.

On the economic front, the unemployment rate in February 2019 was 7.2%. This was higher than the 7.1% unemployment rate in January 2019 and much higher than the 5.9% unemployment rate in February 2018 or the 5% in February 2017, according to data compiled by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) that was released on Tuesday.

Overseas, Asian shares were mixed, following an overnight slip on Wall Street as investors watched developments on the US-China trade front. US stocks finished lower Monday, as investors turned cautious after initially cheering reports that the US and China were close to completing a landmark trade deal. Profit booking on the back of a two-month rally from December lows also weighed on sentiment.

On the US data front, the Institute for Supply Management's survey of senior executives at banks, retailers, restaurants and the like rose to 59.7% last month from 56.7% in January.

Meanwhile, the US plans to end preferential trade status for India, under a scheme which allows certain products to enter the US duty-free. President Donald Trump reportedly said India had failed to assure the US it would provide reasonable access to its markets. India said the US move would have a "minimal economic impact".

United States of America on 5 March 2019 gave a 60-day withdrawal notice to India on the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) benefits extended by US. GSP benefits are envisaged to be non-reciprocal and non-discriminatory benefits extended by developed countries to developing countries. In India's case the GSP concessions extended by the US amounted to duty reduction of only $190 million per annum.

The issue of Indian tariffs being high has been raised from time to time. It is pertinent that India's tariffs are within its bound rates under WTO commitments, and are on the average well below these bound rates. India's trade weighted average tariffs are 7.6%, which is comparable with the most open developing economies, and some developed economies. On developmental considerations there may be a few tariff peaks, which is true for almost all economies. India was agreeable to a very meaningful mutually acceptable package on the above lines to be agreed to at this time, while keeping remaining issues under discussion in the future, Ministry of Commerce & Industry said in a statement on 5 March 2019.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 06 2019. 13:25 IST