Key benchmarks trade firm

Key benchmark indices continued to trade with modest gains in early afternoon trade. At 12:20 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rose 144.98 points or 0.42% at 34,916.03. The Nifty 50 index advanced 38.35 points or 0.36% at 10,738.80. The announcement of reduction in additional borrowing by the government allaying fiscal deficit concerns and expectation of big ticket changes in the Goods and Services Tax in the GST council's next meet boosted sentiment. Indices bucked weak trend in Asian stocks.

Indices opened slightly lower and swung between the gains and losses in early trade. Stocks extended gains and hit fresh intraday high in morning trade and held firm later during the session.

Among the secondary indices, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index rose 0.29%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index dropped 0.04%. Both these indices underperformed the Sensex. The side indices recovered after witnessing sharp fall earlier in the day.

The market breadth indicating health of the market was negative. On the BSE, 1, 580 shares declined and 1,129 shares rose. A total of 136 shares were unchanged.

Capital goods stocks were mixed. Bharat Heavy Electricals (Bhel) (down 0.71%), ABB India (down 0.56%), and Siemens (down 0.9%) declined. Havells India (up 0.55%), Thermax (up 2.23%), Bharat Electronics (up 0.92%), and L&T (up 0.4%) gained.

Auto stocks were also mixed. Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) (down 0.53%), Eicher Motors (down 0.2%), Hero MotoCorp (down 1.55%), and Tata Motors (down 1.38%) declined. TVS Motor Company (up 0.87%), Maruti Suzuki India (up 0.35%), and Bajaj Auto (up 0.85%) gained.

The automobile industry has largely sought rationalization of tax slabs and removal or reduction of cess by the government in Union Budget 2018-19. The government also needs to create an effective and tax-friendly framework for smooth implementation of electrification of India's huge transport fleet.

Ashok Leyland rose 1.06% after the company said it signed a pact with Israel-based firm for high energy electric-powered commercial vehicle solutions. The announcement was made during trading hours today, 17 January 2018. Ashok Leyland said it took the next step to secure long-term arrangements for its electric vehicle (EV) commercial vehicles by signing a letter of intent (Lol) with Phinergy of Israel.

With the intention of providing varying energy management solutions to the customers, Ashok Leyland and Phinergy will work towards the adaptation of unique, competitive and sustainable solutions for high-energy applications in the commercial vehicles space.

Som Distilleries & Breweries rose 0.32% after the company announced that its subsidiary company, Woodpecker Distilleries and Breweries, has got the requisite approvals for consent to operate, from Karnataka State Pollution Control Board. The announcement was made during trading hours today, 17 January 2018.

On the macro front, Ministry of Finance said that upon a review of trends of revenue receipts and expenditure pattern, it has been assessed that additional borrowing of only Rs 20000 crore of government securities would be adequate to meet financing needs. Government did not accept borrowings of Rs 15000 crore in last three auctions. Remaining Rs 15000 crore would be reduced from the notified borrowing programme of ensuing weeks. Vide the Press Release dated 27 December 2017, government had stated that it will raise additional market borrowing of Rs 50000 crore through dated government securities in the current financial year, 2017-18.

Meanwhile, country's six-month old revamped indirect tax system is reportedly set to undergo significant changes, which will include simplification of return filing process, amendment in laws and rules to simplify procedures, along with rate cuts of around 70 goods and services. The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Councilthe apex body for decision making headed by finance minister Arun Jaitleyis reportedly likely to consider the big bang recommendations from states and various officers' panel in its next meeting tomorrow, 18 January 2018.

Overseas, Asian stocks stepped back from a record high as the region's resource shares were dented by falling oil and commodity prices while digital currencies tumbled on worries about tighter regulations.

Japanese orders for machinery surged to their highest level in a decade in November. Cabinet Office data showed core orders, a highly volatile data series regarded as an indicator of capital spending in the coming six to nine months, grew 5.7% in November from the previous month.

US benchmark indices pulled back from lifetime highs set earlier in the session to end mostly lower yesterday, 16 January 2018, on likely profit booking amid concerns over the possibility of a government shutdown. On the data front, the Empire State manufacturing survey slipped to 17.7 in January from a revised 19.6 in December, the New York Fed said.

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

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