Indian benchmark indices opened marginally lower today after the GDP data showed that the country’s economy in the fiscal fourth quarter of the last financial year grew slowest in two years, at 6.1%, hurt by demonetisation. The slowdown in growth bumped India from the top spot in the list of the world’s fastest growing major economies.
Indian indices were also under pressure following weak Asian markets and subdued US stocks. The dollar pulled up from near two-week lows and sterling languished under the weight of political fears a week before the election in Britain. The benchmark Sensex opened 28 points down at 31,117.09 points while the broader Nifty opened 17 points down at 9,603.55 points.
Overnight, Wall Street closed slightly lower as financials lost ground after JPMorgan and Bank of America warned of revenue weakness in the current quarter, but gains in defensive plays offset the decline. All three major US indexes ended May in positive territory. The dollar gained after touching a near two-week low against the yen overnight. It was up 0.2 percent from its previous close at 110.95 early on Thursday, its first positive session in five, but concerns about US politics capped gains.
Here are the live updates:
03:30 pm: Indian markets close flat with BSE Sensex down 0.03% or 8.21 points at 31,137.59 points while NSE Nifty down 0.05% or 5.15 points at 9,616.1 points. The shares of Adani Ports (up 3.2%), HUL (up 2.69%), L&T (up 1.82%), Sun Pharma (up 1.42%), ITC (up 1.2%) end in lead on Sensex.
03:15 pm: In growing troubles for struggling Reliance Communications, Fitch Ratings has downgraded the Anil Ambani-controlled company to CCC, further down in the junk category, implying that some kind of default on the company’s debt is now a “real possibility”. Fitch Ratings cut comes close on the heels of Moody’s too downgrading Reliance Communications earlier this week to Caa1 from B2.
03:01 pm: Indian markets continue to trade flat in the closing bell. The benchmark Sensex up 0.03% or 8.64 points at 31,154.44 points while the broader Nifty 50 trade down 0.04% or 4.15 points at 9,617.1 points.
02:45 pm: Gold prices rebounded by Rs 250 to Rs 29,350 per 10 grams at the bullion market today on firm overseas cues and increased buying by local jewellers. Silver also recovered by Rs 150 to Rs 40,150 per kg backed by increased offtake by industrial units and coin makers. In the national capital, gold of 99.9 per cent and 99.5 per cent purity bounced back by Rs 250 each to Rs 29,350 and Rs 29,200 per 10 grams, respectively.
02:25 pm: The shares of FMCG sector soars the most with Hindustan Unilever (up 3.02%) hitting the record high of Rs 1,099.2. While Britannia (up 2.13%), Tata Global Beverages (up 2.01%), Dabur (up 1.89%), Colgate-Palmolive (up 1.81%) lead behind HUL. The Nifty FMCG index too hit a record high at 26,267.9 points, trade up 1.59% at 26,253.5 points.
02:05 pm: Amid reports of layoffs in information technology (IT) sector, Infosys co-founder NR Narayana Murthy told ETNow in an interview that there is no need to become extremely anxious and it is possible for senior management to make minor adjustments through salary cuts and protect the job of youngsters. He also added that it is unfair to send employees home without giving them a chance to re-skill. While talking about the layoff controversy, he said that this is not the first time that business is going through troughs and like the past, a solution to this problem can also be achieved. Murthy said during the ETNow interview that senior managers should identify new areas of opportunity for the young employees/engineers and mount programmes to training them in new skills and technologies.
01:50 pm: Indian markets trade flat with BSE Sensex up 16 points at 31,161.68 points while NSE Nifty equals the previous close at 9,621.25 points. Amid the muted markets the shares of mid-caps, UPL (at Rs 878.9), LIC Housing Finance (at Rs 740.85) and Motherson Sumi (at Rs 454.9) hit a fresh 52-week high on NSE.
01:40 pm: MAS Financial Services and Bharat Road Network have received capital markets regulator Sebi’s approval to float initial public offerings. The companies, which had filed their draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) with Sebi for IPOs during February-March, have received “observations” from the regulator, which is necessary for any firm to launch public offer, the firms said in a statement. Non-banking financial company MAS Financial Services plans to raise an estimated Rs 550 crore through its initial share-sale offer.
01:28 pm: Shares of drug firm Pfizer Ltd today surged over 7% after the company entered into a pact with AstraZeneca AB to acquire the ‘Neksium’ brand in India for Rs 75 crore. After a positive opening, the stock further went up by 7.15 per cent to Rs 1,785.80 on BSE. At NSE, shares of the company soared 7.33 per cent to Rs 1,788.50. The company is well placed to grow the Neksium brand further through its existing reach, coverage and equity in the gastrointestinal therapy area, Pfizer said in a statement yesterday.
01:08 pm: Domestic markets continue to trade weak with BSE Sensex down 69 points at 31,076.44 while NSE Nifty trade below 9,600, down 24 points at 9,596.96 points. The shares of HUL and Hero MotoCorp again hit new lifetime highs of Rs 1,0970.05 and Rs 3,815 respectively.
12:51 pm: Sectoral indices of NSE trade mixed with Nifty FMCG (up 1.09%), Nifty Pharma (0.98%) rising the most whereas Nifty Media (up 0.28%), Nifty IT (up 0.19%), Nifty Auto (up 0.15%) and Nifty Realty (up 0.14%) trade with relatively less gains. The benchmarks for banks, financial services and metal witness a drop with Nifty Metal (down 1.15%), Nifty Bank (up 0.76%), Nifty Fin Service (down 0.6%).
12:30 pm: Domestic markets trade lower in the mid-morning session, the benchmark Sensex down over 70 points at 31,073.25 points. The shares of Adani Ports (up 2.04%), Hindustan Unilever (up 2.02%), Sun Pharma (up 1.83%), ITC (up 0.93%), Mahindra & Mahindra (up 0.92%) lead the index while that of Tata Steel (down 1.93%), ICICI Bank (down 1.69%) and Axis Bank (down 1.5%), ONGC (down 1.36%) and Bharti Airtel (down 1.17%) trade in red.
12:05 pm: India’s shares were flat, while bonds gained slightly despite data showing weaker-than-expected economic growth, with investors still betting the economy will improve. This reaction followed data out late on Wednesday showing India was no longer the world’s fastest-growing major economy after posting gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.1 percent in January-March from a year earlier, well below expectations for 7.1 percent and China’s 6.9 percent annual expansion in the first quarter.
11:50 am: Indian markets continue to trade lower with both the major indices in red. BSE Sensex down 9 points at 31,134.17 points and NSE Nifty down 11 points at 9,611.5 points. The shares of Sun Pharma, Hindustan Unilever and Adani Ports lead the gains on Sensex while Maruti Suzuki continues to trade in red after slipping over 0.1% as the sales figures of May missed the estimates.
11:30 am: Gold futures today fell by Rs 89 to Rs 29,005 per 10 grams as participants indulged in cutting bets amid a weak trend overseas. At the Multi Commodity Exchange, gold prices for delivery in August were trading lower by Rs 89, or 0.31 per cent, to Rs 29,005 per 10 grams in a business turnover of 363 lots. While on the other hand, silver prices tumbled by Rs 66 to Rs 40,030 per kg in futures trade today as participants cut down bets.
11:16 am: The government is said to be planning to combine the state-run refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd with the giant oil explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp by December this year by selling its 51.1% stake in the former to the latter for $4.5 billion (about Rs 29,000 crore), ET Now reported citing wire reports, which in turn cited unidentified sources. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is learnt to be in favour of adopting a subsidiary model for combining the two oil PSUs instead of merging the companies, making ONGC the parent company of HPCL, the report said.
10:53 am: The shares of ICICI Bank (- 27.33 points), Reliance Industries (-20.59 points), HDFC Bank (-7.95 points), Axis Bank (-6.12 points) and Maruti Suzuki (-5.79 points) are contributing the most to the fall in the benchmark Sensex meanwhile the index trades up 52 points at 31,198.18 points.
10:35 am: The BSE Sensex fell over 75 points to 31,070 and the Nifty slipped below 9,600-mark in early trade today as participants trimmed their positions, triggered by lower GDP numbers and core infrastructure sectors growth. The 30-share index, which had lost 13.60 points in the previous session, fell by another 75.33 points, or 0.24%, to trade at 31,070.47. Stocks of oil&gas, metal, IT, banking, tech, PSU and capital goods led the losses. The NSE Nifty was also trading lower by 22.80 points, or 0.23%, at 9,598.45.
10:20 am: Shares of state-run oil marketing companies such as BPCL, HPCL and IOC were trading in negative zone with losses up to 1.97 per cent despite a hike in petrol and diesel prices. Trading sentiment suffered a setback after macroeconomic indicators such as GDP numbers and core sector growth showed that the country’s economic growth has slowed down.
10:05 am: The shares of Hindustan Unilever and Hero MotoCorp hit a fresh lifetime high on Nifty 50 of Rs 1,091.8 and Rs 3,796 while the 50-share broad index continues to trade lower, down 8 points at 9,613 points and the benchmark Sensex trade flat at 31,144.92 points.
09:48 am: The rupee firmed up another 8 paise to 64.43 against the US dollar today on increased selling of the American currency by exporters and banks, even as India’s economic growth slowed to 7.1% in 2016-17. India’s economic growth slowed to 7.1% in 2016-17, the year in which 87 per cent of the currency was demonetised, despite a very good showing by the agricultural sector. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 6.1% in January-March period — the first full quarter after the demonetisation was affected on November 9, 2016.
09:30 am: The Nifty Pharma index of NSE rises 1.74% to 9,182.1 points, after a week-long subdued trade in all pharma sector stocks. All the stocks of the index trade in green with the Divi’s Lab (up 3.23%), Aurobindo Pharma (up 3.11%), Sun Pharma (up 2.87%) rising the most. Earlier, last week most of the pharma stocks traded at their near 52-week lows.
09:15 am: Indian equities opened lower over the cautious opening in other Asian markets, with BSE Sensex down 0.09% or 28 points at 31,117.09 points and NSE Nifty down 0.18% or 17 points at 9,603.55 points.
With inputs from Reuters and PTI.