Market Live: Nifty at record high, opens above 9200; Sensex soars 200pts; ITC up 4%
Fri Mar 17 2017
Ramesh Sridharan (877 articles)

Market Live: Nifty at record high, opens above 9200; Sensex soars 200pts; ITC up 4%

9:50 am Oil update: Oil prices were little changed today as the market looked for clues on how effectively OPEC production cuts are working to absorb a global supply overhang.

Brent crude was up 0.1 percent, at USD 51.79 per barrel, after closing the previous session down 7 cents, and was on track for a weekly gain of about 0.8 percent.

US West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) was up 0.11 percent, at USD 48.86 a barrel and was also set for a small weekly rise.

Oil prices fell sharply last week on concerns that production cuts by OPEC and non-OPEC members including Russia are not cutting a supply overhang as quickly as expected in the face of increased US output.

9:45 am Merger: A Parliamentary panel has suggested merger of state-run telecom firms BSNL and MTNL for their long-term survival.

The Committee on Petitions, chaired by BJP MP Bhagat Singh Koshyari, in its report tabled in Lok Sabha today, said that it is of the “considered opinion that for the long-term survival and success, merger of MTNL and BSNL would be a good proposition…”

Their merger would give both the entities a chance for competing against private sector players, it added.

9:35 am FII View: Laurence Balanco of CLSA says this week’s regional price action is dominated by the bullish breakouts in India’s Nifty and Korea’s Kospi 200. Technically, the breakout in the Nifty is more compelling with momentum indicators continuing to confirm the market highs.

Unlike the Kospi 200’s breakout, the Nifty’s attempt to breakout above 8,994-9,191 is being confirmed by its daily momentum indicator, he says.

Momentum and breadth confirmation of a break above the 8,994-9,191 resistance zone would trigger the bullish implication of the 2015-to-date trading range, he adds.

Balanco feels such a move would open the door for a move up to the following target levels seen between 10,350 and 12,000.

Also read – Buy, sell, hold: Analysts have these 8 stocks on radar today

9:15 am Market Check

Benchmark indices extended previous day’s rally on Friday, with the Nifty hitting a record high of 9200 in opening following clearance to all five laws by GST Council.

The 30-share BSE Sensex was up 202.64 points or 0.68 percent at 29,788.49 and the 50-share NSE Nifty rose 45.05 points or 0.49 percent to 9,198.75.

ITC surged 4 percent after brokerages are upbeat on the stock. TCS, Asian Paints, Wipro, Lupin, M&M, Power Grid and Tata Steel were other early gainers while L&T, GAIL, Tech Mahindra, BPCL and HDFC were under pressure.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, on Thursday approved the remaining two crucial supplementary bills — State GST (SGST) and Union Territory GST (UTGST) – moving the proposed July 1 implementation of the country’s biggest tax reform closer to reality.

Final drafts of the three other bills — Integrated GST (IGST), Central GST (CGST) and Compensation bill — had been cleared by the Council in its previous meetings.

The Indian rupee opened marginally lower at 65.45 per dollar today against previous close of 65.41.

Ashutosh Raina of HDFC Bank said, “The US rate hike, accompanied by dovish commentary, resulted in dollar sell-off, with dollar index settling close to 100. The resultant appreciation in the USD-INR pair has been pretty sharp, breaching major technical supports, and settling close to the 65.50/dollar level.”

He expects the pair to consolidate around current levels, although the appreciating bias could continue, with RBI expected to limit volatility.

The dollar remained under pressure, wallowing at five-week lows and on track for weekly losses after the US Federal Reserve signaled fewer interest rate hikes than some investors had expected.

Asian markets traded sideways, following a flat to lower close on Wall Street, in a light regional data day.

Ramesh Sridharan

Ramesh Sridharan

Ramesh Sridharan is our Stock Market Correspondent covering events and daily movements of stock markets in Asia. He is based in Mumbai

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