BSE Sensex opens flat; Up 32 points

Benchmark indices surge ahead of release of industrial production data

Sensex up by 294 57 pts

Sensex today: Indian indices today closed flat after falling in the morning trade on weak Asian cues and selling pressure on sectoral stocks. Asian stocks declined following an overnight slide in U.S. equities after President Donald Trump replaced his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, extending a shake-up of his administration, spurring concerns about a one-sided approach to worldwide trade. Nikkei, Hang Seng, Shanghai, ASX 200 and Kospi were down 0.3-0.9 percent. During the day, the barometer swung nearly 295 points (both sides). Intra-day it touched a high of 10,420.35. "The gains came on the back of positive global equity markets as worldwide trade-war concerns took a backseat to economic optimism following a stronger United States jobs report released over the weekend", Deepak Jasani, Head - Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

Market observers said the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) move to discontinue the system of issuing Letters of Undertaking (LoUs) by banks for availing trade credits for imports into India with immediate effect eroded investors' risk-taking appetite.

Inflation based on wholesale prices eased to a seven-month low of 2.48% in February on cheaper food articles, including vegetables, official data showed. This is the biggest single-day gain since March 2016.

SBI, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank, Tech Mahindra, Ambuja Cements and Bajaj Finance gained up to 3 percent.

Bank of Baroda, PNB, and HDFC Bank also rose up to 3.01 per cent.

However, oil major ONGC dropped by 1.53 per cent after crude prices surged.

"The PSU banking basket came back smartly and eventually managed to lift the traders' sentiments to reclaim the 10,400 mark", said Sameet Chavan, Chief Analyst-Technical and Derivatives, Angel Broking.

The losers were Coal India by 2.46 pc to Rs 297.20, SBIN by 1.34 pc to Rs 249.75, Tata MotorsDVR by 0.80 pc to Rs 191.05 and Powergrid by 0.46 pc to Rs 193.95.

The Bombay Stock Exchange building in Mumbai. Auto, pharma, metal, and FMCG stocks were the laggards on the bourses.

Bucking the trend, the broader markets ended in the green, with the mid-cap index rising 0.28% and small-cap up 0.28%.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.3 per cent, after hitting a 1-1/2 month high yesterday. France CAC, Germany DAX, and Britain FTSE are up 0.3 percent each.

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