Sensex, Nifty hit fresh intraday high

Key benchmarks extended early gains and hit fresh intraday high in morning trade. At 10:24 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 335.44 points or 1.02% at 33,332.20. The Nifty 50 index was up 97 points or 0.96% at 10,221.35. The Sensex was trading above the psychological 33,000 mark. Positive trend in other Asian indices boosted sentiment in domestic market. Metal and FMCG shares were trading higher.

The market hit fresh intraday high in morning trade after opening in positive terrain. The Sensex rose 343.78 points, or 1.04% at the day's high of 33,340.54 in morning trade, its highest level since 16 March 2018. The index rose 94.06 points, or 0.29% at the day's low of 33,090.82 in early trade. The Nifty rose 101.10 points, or 1% at the day's high of 10,225.45 in morning trade, its highest level since 16 March 2018. The index rose 48.85 points, or 0.48% at the day's low of 10,173.20 in early trade.

Among secondary barometers, the BSE Mid-Cap index was up 1.13%. The BSE Small-Cap index was up 1.31%. Both these indices outperformed the Sensex.

The broad market depicted strength. There were more than three gainers against every loser on BSE. 1,641 shares rose and 444 shares fell. A total of 89 shares were unchanged.

Most metal shares rose. Hindustan Copper (up 2.76%), Steel Authority of India (up 1.87%), Vedanta (up 1.57%), NMDC (up 0.72%), Hindustan Zinc (up 0.67%), JSW Steel (up 0.30%), National Aluminium Company (up 0.30%) and Tata Steel (up 0.12%), edged higher. Hindalco Industries (down 0.39%) and Jindal Steel & Power (down 0.81%), edged lower.

Most FMCG shares rose. Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care (up 1.40%), Godrej Consumer Products (up 1.38%), Tata Global Beverages (up 1.15%), Nestle India (up 1.01%), Jyothy Laboratories (up 0.46%), Colgate Palmolive (India) (up 0.45%), Britannia Industries (up 0.41%), Dabur India (up 0.27%) and Marico (up 0.02%), edged higher. Hindustan Unilever (down 0.16%) and Bajaj Corp (down 0.26%), edged lower

Ashok Leyland was up 1.54% after the company said it bagged orders for 2100 buses from The Institute of Road Transport (IRT), Tamil Nadu. The announcement was made during trading hours today, 21 March 2018.

On the economic front, investment bank Goldman Sachs reportedly downgraded its forecasts for India's economy on Tuesday, 20 March 2018, in the wake of a more than $2 billion fraud at Punjab National Bank, warning it could spark tighter regulation of the banking sector that would constrain credit growth. Goldman Sachs lowered its real GDP forecast on India till March 2019 to 7.6% from 8% earlier. For the current fiscal ending 31 March, it forecasts the Indian economy to grow 6.6%.

Overseas, Asian shares were trading higher after recent losses amidst caution ahead of a key US Federal Reserve policy meeting outcome. US stocks ended higher Tuesday, led by strong gains in the energy sector as the overall market reclaimed some lost ground from the previous day, when tech shares fell sharply.

The US Federal Reserve started a two-day monetary policy meeting yesterday, 20 March 2018. The outcome of the meeting will be announced later in the global day today, 21 March 2018, with new Chair Jerome Powell set to give his first news conference.

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