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Barometers extend recent gains
(13-Mar-2019  , 16:50 Hours IST)

Key equity indices ended with modest rise after a volatile trading session. Gains were capped as broader market witnessed profit selling after a recent rally. Negative global cues also dampened investors' risk appetite.

The Sensex rose 216.51 points or 0.58% to settle at 37,752.17, its highest closing level since 14 September 2018. The index rose 261.63 points, or 0.70% at the day's high of 37,797.29. The index fell 56.79 points, or 0.15% at the day's low of 37,478.87.

The Nifty 50 index rose 40.50 points or 0.36% to settle at 11,341.70, its highest closing level since 17 September 2018. The index rose 51.10 points, or 0.45% at the day's high of 11,352.30. The index fell 24.60 points, or 0.22% at the day's low of 11,276.60.

A bout of volatility was seen in early trade as the key indices regained positive zone soon after erasing early gains. Key benchmark indices trimmed gains in morning trade. Stocks regained strength in mid-morning trade. Key indices hovered in positive zone in early afternoon trade. Key equity indices firmed up once again in afternoon trade. Stocks extended gains in mid-afternoon trade. Indices hit fresh intraday high in late trade.

Broader market corrected on profit selling. The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index fell 0.43%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index fell 0.31%.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was weak. On the BSE, 1056 shares rose and 1678 shares fell. A total of 155 shares were unchanged.

Among the sectoral indices on BSE, the S&P BSE Telecom index (down 2.6%), the S&P BSE Metal index (down 1.86%) and the S&P BSE Healthcare index (down 1.63%), underperformed the Sensex. The S&P BSE Bankex (up 1.42%), the S&P BSE Finance index (up 1.2%) and the S&P BSE Realty index (up 0.65%), outperformed the Sensex.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries (RIL) rose 1.27% to Rs 1346.75. The stock hit a record high of Rs 1350 in intraday today, 13 March 2019.

Private sector banks shares were mixed. IndusInd Bank (up 4.15%), Yes Bank (up 3.67%), HDFC Bank (up 2.56%), ICICI Bank (up 0.94%) and Federal Bank (up 0.78%), edged higher. Kotak Mahindra Bank (down 0.12%), City Union Bank (down 0.4%) and RBL Bank (down 0.81%), edged lower.

Axis Bank fell 0.67% to Rs 737.25. The stock reversed trend after hitting record high of Rs 750.90 in morning trade. Axis Bank said that its board approved the appointment of Rakesh Makhija, independent director as the non-executive (part-time) chairman of the bank, for three years, with effect from 18 July 2019 upto 17 July 2022, subject to the approval of the Reserve Bank of India and the shareholders of the bank. The existing term of Dr. Sanjiv Misra, non-executive (part-time) chairman of the bank will expire with effect from the close of business hours on 17 July 2019. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 12 March 2019.

Most public sector banks declined. Punjab & Sind Bank (down 4.02%), IDBI Bank (down 3.58%), United Bank of India (down 1.78%), Central Bank of India (down 1.31%), UCO Bank (down 1.3%), Andhra Bank (down 1.29%), Allahabad Bank (down 0.91%), Bank of Maharashtra (down 0.59%), Punjab National Bank (down 0.59%), Bank of India (down 0.54%), Corporation Bank (down 0.5%), Indian Bank (down 0.06%) and Union Bank of India (down 0.06%), edged lower. Bank of Baroda (up 0.39%), Syndicate Bank (up 0.52%), State Bank of India (up 2.15%) and Canara Bank (up 2.83%), edged higher.

TCS shed 0.57%. TCS announced that Digitate's cognitive automation solution, ignio, has been successfully deployed by Tata Steel Europe (TSE) as its AI platform for IT operations. TSE, a leading European steel producer, is currently on a digital transformation journey with innovation, customer focus, and value chain excellence at its core. The announcement was made during market hours today, 13 March 2019.

Infosys rose 0.32%. Infosys said that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Infosys Finacle, announced that Hatton National Bank (HNB), a leading private sector commercial bank operating in Sri Lanka, has selected Finacle Trade Connect to enable a blockchain-based domestic and cross-border trade finance network. The Finacle Trade Connect solution will be used by HNB to pilot a trade network with other corresponding banking partners and its corporate clients. The network is expected to help HNB and other participating entities substantially increase automation and transparency, while efficiently managing risks in trade and supply chain financing operations. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 12 March 2019.

Unichem Laboratories rose 1.16%. Unichem Laboratories announced that it has received abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) approval for its Allopurinol tablets, USP 100 mg and 300 mg, from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). Allopurinol tablets are generic version of Zyloprim (allopurinol) tablets.

On the macro front, industrial production and inflation data was released by the government after market hours yesterday, 12 March 2019. India's industrial production (base year 2011-12=100) rose at slower pace of 1.7% in January 2019, compared with 2.6% growth recorded in December 2018. The industrial production growth for December 2018 has been revised upwards from 2.4% increase reported provisionally.

The all-India general CPI inflation rose to 2.57% in February 2019 (new base 2012=100), compared with 1.97% in January 2019. The corresponding provisional inflation rate for rural area was 1.81% and urban area 3.43% in February 2019 as against 1.22% and 2.91% in January 2019. The core CPI inflation eased to 5.29% in February 2019 compared with 5.35% in January 2019.

In the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged higher against the dollar. The partially convertible rupee was hovering at 69.47, compared with its close of 69.71 during the previous trading session.

In the global commodities markets, Brent for May 2019 settlement was up 36 cents at $67.03 a barrel. The contract rose 9 cents, or 0.14% to settle at $66.67 a barrel during the previous trading session.

Overseas, most stocks in Europe and Asia declined as uncertainty prevailed on Britain's plan to leave the European Union. UK lawmakers once again rejected Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit deal. Parliament will vote later Wednesday on whether to leave the EU with no deal and if that fails, another vote on Thursday to decide whether to extend the Brexit deadline.

US stocks closed mostly higher Tuesday, led by the health care and utilities sectors. In US economic data, the consumer-price index rose 0.2% in February following three months of no change, the Labor Department said. Core prices, which strip out volatile changes in the cost of food an energy rose 0.1%. Year-over-year, overall inflation fell from growth of 1.6% in January to 1.5%, while annual core inflation fell from 2.2% to 2.1%.

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