Sensex trades flat, Nifty below 8,900 ahead of Q3 GDP data

The benchmark indices on Tuesday continued to trade flat even as Asian markets were trading higher after US president Donald Trump said he would make a "big" infrastructure statement on Tuesday.

Back home, investors also await December quarter GDP data due later in the day, which is estimated to come in at 6.4% year-on-year.

At 1:58 pm, the S&P BSE Sensex was trading at 28,795, down 17 points, while the broader Nifty50 was ruling at 8,890, down 16 points.  

In the broader market, the BSE Smallcap index outperformed the frontline indices to rise 0.4%, while the BSE Midcap was little changed. 

"For the coming session, 8,880-8,850 would act as a strong support; whereas, on the upside, 8,931-8,982 would be seen as an immediate hurdle for the index. We would expect continuation of the consolidation phase within the range of 8,982-8,826 before resuming the higher degree up trend," said brokerage Angel Broking. 

Buzzing stocks

Coal India was the top loser on Sensex and shed over 2% to Rs 323 on the BSE after the company said the board of its subsidiary South Eastern Coalfields has approved a share buyback plan worth Rs 1,200 crore. 

Idea Cellular shed nearly 5% to Rs 109 on the NSE after the US-based private equity (PE) player Providence Equity Partners sold 3.3% of its stake in the company through a block deal. The block deal marks the complete exit of Providence from Idea Cellular. The stock was the top loser on Nifty.

Among gainers, Future Retail surged 13% to Rs 271 in intra-day trade, extending its past two-month rally, on the back of heavy volumes.

In past two months, the stock zoomed 117% from Rs 125 on December 28, 2016, as compared to 10% rise in the S&P BSE Sensex.

Goldstone Infratech was locked at 5% upper circuit at Rs 50, extending gains triggered by the company securing an order for supply of pure electric buses.

GDP data eyed

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) is due to unveil gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the December quarter in the afternoon. The Q3 GDP data holds significance as it would reflect the true picture of the impact of demonetisation. A Reuters poll of 30 economists taken over the past week showed Q3 GDP growth slowed to 6.4% annually, while several economists were uncertain about the full impact of the currency ban. SBI Research, meanwhile, expects the GDP growth to be decisively lower than 6% in Q3 at 5.8% and 6.4% in Q4. 

Trump's speech to US Congress

Investors keenly await Trump's first address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday evening to look for more specifics on his plans on tax reform and infrastructure spending. The market has risen heftily since the November 8 election.

Global markets

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.1% in early trading, while Japan's Nikkei stock index got a tailwind from a weaker yen and gained 0.7%. China's Shanghai Composite rose marginally, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was little changed. 

On Monday, US stocks edged up, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing at a record high for a 12th straight session.

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