Indian equities open marginally higher on Friday as Asian markets edged higher in the early trade and after India’s GDP growth slowed down to a mere 5.7% for the first quarter of FY 2018. The GDP numbers continued to disappoint for the second straight quarter pitting the country behind China on the list of world’s fastest growing major economies. BSE Sensex gained 39 points to open at 31,769.34 points while NSE Nifty advanced about 20 points to open at 9,937.65 points.
Shares of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories were the top gainer on the benchmark Sensex today after Nasdaq-listed Vivus Inc yesterday entered into a settlement agreement with the drugmaker to resolve a long-pending patent litigation related to weight management capsules Qsymia. The stock of Dr Reddy’s rose a much as 7.09% to Rs 2,163.55 on BSE. Other gainers on the index include Sun Pharma (up 1.66%), Bajaj Auto (up 1.64%), Tata Motors (up 1.23%), Lupin (up 1.18%), Reliance Industries (0.91%).
The shares of heavyweight companies such as Reliance Industries, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Tata Motors, Infosys and Sun Pharma contributed the most in the index gains. Collectively these five stocks added about 70 points to the rise in the benchmark Sensex. Most of the sectoral indices of NSE were trading higher with gains up to 1.49% except financial services, FMCG and IT which lost up to 0.33% in the early trade today.
The 5.7% fiscal first quarter GDP growth, of an economy desperately trying to recover from the shocking impact of demonetisation, was much lower than the 7.9% seen in the same quarter a year ago. It even slowed down from 6.1% in the preceding quarter.
US stocks closed higher on Thursday as investors reacted to economic data and took cautious hope from Washington’s latest promises for long-awaited details of a tax reform plan. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.27% to 21,952.35 points, the S&P 500 gained 0.57% to 2,471.53 points and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.95% to 6,428.66 points.