Power stocks edge higher

Key indices traded slightly higher in mid-afternoon trade. At 14:20 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rose 26.53 points or 0.08% at 33,863.27. The Nifty 50 index gained 9.15 points or 0.09% at 10,472.35. The movement of indices was restricted within a small range around the flat line so far.

The market swung between gains and losses near the flat line in early trade. The Sensex and Nifty, both, hit record high at the onset of the session. Stocks soon slipped into the red and traded with small losses in morning trade. Indices turned positive in mid-morning trade and traded with small gains so far.

Among secondary indices, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index rose 0.52%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index gained 0.99%. Both these indices outperformed the Sensex.

The breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was strong. On the BSE, 1,644 shares rose and 963 shares fell. A total of 178 shares were unchanged.

FMCG stocks were mixed. Tata Global Beverages (up 0.63%), Nestle India (up 0.86%), Marico (up 2.24%), Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care (up 0.36%), Hindustan Unilever (HUL) (up 0.76%), Dabur India (up 0.3%), Colgate Palmolive India (up 1.61%), and Bajaj Corp (up 0.41%) gained. Britannia Industries (down 0.35%), Jyothy Laboratories (down 0.13%), GlaxoSmithkline Consumer Healthcare (down 0.36%), and Godrej Consumer Products (down 0.83%) declined.

Shares of most power generation and power distribution companies gained. Torrent Power (up 1.52%), Adani Power (up 0.71%), Reliance Infrastructure (up 0.98%) and Reliance Power (up 2.03%) gained. Tata Power Company (down 0.01%), Power Grid Corporation of India (down 0.67%), NTPC (down 0.44%) and NHPC (down 0.18%) declined.

Coal India rose 0.9% after the company said that its board has introduced evacuation facility charges at Rs 50 per tonne for dispatch of coal on all dispatches except dispatch through rapid loading arrangement. It will come into force with immediate effect. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 19 December 2017.

As a result, the company would be generating around an additional revenue of Rs 2500 crore for the full year and around Rs 800 crore for the balance period of FY 2018.

Meanwhile, the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2017 which seeks to bring about major changes in the Companies Act, 2013, was passed by the Rajya Sabha yesterday, 19 December 2017 by a voice vote. The bill, which was adopted by the Lok Sabha in July, will now have to receive the assent of the President to become law. The amendment seeks to strengthen corporate governance standards, initiate strict action against defaulting companies and help improve ease of doing business in the country.

Overseas, European and Asian stocks dropped after Senate passed Republican tax bill in 51-48 vote sending the tax cut package back to the House of Representatives for a final vote later in the day.

US stocks ended with modest losses yesterday, 19 December 2017, pulling back from all-time highs. Stocks remained lower as the House of Representatives, as expected, passed tax legislation that would slash corporate rates but will have to vote again today because the current draft doesn't comply with Senate rules.

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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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