Benchmark indices pared opening gains to trade flat in the early morning trade tracking positive cues from Asian markets. Back home, investors awaited the services PMI data and the results from the second day of GST Council Meet.
At 10:50 am, the S&P BSE Sensex was trading at 26,653, up 10 points, while Nifty50 was ruling at 8,194, up 2 points.
“The 8,225 region continues to hold forte but it was instructive to see firm buying interest after initial dips. Brief penetration of 8,235 is still likely, with potential for sharp spikes towards 8,250/8,300, but they are less likely to sustain suggesting that the potential for a drop once inside the 8,225-8,250 region needs to be planned for,” said Geojit BNP Paribas in a note.
On Tuesday, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 500.49 crore, while Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 562.27 crore, provisional data available with BSE showed.
Sectors and Stocks
Tata Motors was the top gainer on BSE Sensex followed by ONGC, Bajaj Auto, Coal India and Tata Steel while Reliance Cipla, Bharti airtel and Lupin were the biggest laggards.
NMDC gained over 4% to Rs 135.6 after the company reported it has raised iron ore prices by up to 6.72% in anticipation of an increase in steel prices.
BSE Metals was the top sectoral gainer, up almost 1% on reports of rising steel prices. NALCO, JSPL, Tata Steel gained between 0.9-2.7%. Hind Zinc was the only stock trading in red in the index.
Coal India gained around 1% to Rs 308 on reports that the company will this month begin the second phase of auction of coal linkages for the non-regulated sector and is likely to put on offer 14.5 million tonnes of fuel.
Bharti Airtel fell nearly 0.54% Rs 302 after the company offered free data for 12 months, worth up to Rs 9,000, to customers who switch to Airtel 4G in a bid to compete with Reliance Jio.
GST Council Meet
States on Tuesday demanded taxation rights for sales in high seas and also increasing the number of items on which cess is to be levied to compensate the states to deal with revenue loss estimated at Rs 90,000 crore post demonetization.
A number of states said the April 1 deadline to roll out GST looked difficult to meet and that a realistic target could be June or July.
“April 1 rollout of GST definitely not possible,” said Thomas Isaac, Kerala’s finance minister. Gujarat finance minister said it could even be September.
Rupee dropped 11 paise to end yesterday’s session at a fresh one-month low of 68.33 amid heavy dollar demand. It rebounded 12 paise higher today and was trading at 68.22 during early-morning trade.
Gold prices rose 1% to a near three-week high on Tuesday as volatility in stocks perceived as risky made investors run to the save-haven bullion.
Oil prices edged up on Wednesday, recovering some losses from the previous day when the US-dollar hit a 14-year peak and weighed on crude markets. WTI crude oil futures traded at $52.58 a barrel, up 25 cents, or 0.5%, from the last settlement.
The Nikkei climbed 2.1%, recovering from two sessions of losses as domestic data showed factory activity expanded at the fastest pace in a year.
Markets elsewhere in Asia were more hesitant having already rallied on Tuesday. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.1% and trying to string together a seventh straight session of gains.
Among other Asian stocks, Shanghai was trading higher by 2.07% while Hang Seng was down by 0.14%.
The U.S. dollar crept nearer to 14-year peaks on Wednesday as an abundance of upbeat global economic data boosted Wall Street and signs of quickening inflation dented fixed-income debt.
On Wall Street, Dow Jones Industrial Average index settled 119.16 points, or 0.60%, up at 19881.76, while Nasdaq Composite index closed 45.97 points, or 0.85%, up at 5,429.08.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended up 0.7% with most sectors trading positive. The UK’s FTSE100 touched a record high in early afternoon trade, however, it retreated slightly to close up 0.49% on Tuesday. The French CAC ended 0.35% higher while the German DAX finished 0.12% in negative territory.