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Equities hovers tad above flat line; breadth strong

Published on Mar 11, 2022 14:23

The benchmark indices extended minor gains during mid-afternoon trade, buoyed by pharma and healthcare stocks. The Nifty trades above 16,600 level.

At 14:20 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rose 89.80 points or 0.16% at 55,554.19. The Nifty 50 index gained 29 points or 0.17% at 16,623.90.

In the broader market, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index rose 0.20% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index gained 0.74%.

The market breadth was strong. On the BSE, 2,003 shares rose and 1,268 shares fell. A total of 123 shares were unchanged.

Numbers to Track:

The yield on 10-year benchmark federal paper rose to 6.825% as compared with 6.809% at close in the previous trading session.

In the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged lower against the dollar. The partially convertible rupee was hovering at 76.6150, compared with its close of 76.43 during the previous trading session.

MCX Gold futures for 5 April 2022 settlement fell 0.26% to Rs 53,100.

The US Dollar index (DXY), which tracks the greenback`s value against a basket of currencies, rose 0.13% to 98.64.

In the commodities market, Brent crude for May 2022 settlement rose $3.13 at $112.46 a barrel. A spike in crude oil prices has raised concerns over the impact on inflation, currency and input cost for companies across sectors as India imports majority of its crude oil requirements. Higher crude oil prices could increase India`s expenditure and adversely affect the fiscal deficit.

Buzzing Index:

The Nifty IT index fell 0.12% to 35,356.90. The index lost 0.23% in two trading sessions.

Larsen & Toubro Infotech (LTI) (down 1.51%), MindTree (down 0.72%), Infosys (down 0.34%), Tech Mahindra (down 0.16%) and Wipro (down 0.10%) were the top losers in the IT segment.

Wipro fell 0.10%. The global IT and consulting firm announced a long-term partnership with Pandorum Technologies, a biotechnology company working in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Together, the companies will focus on development of technologies that shorten time-to-market and maximize patient outcome during R&D and clinical trials of regenerative medicine. The partnership combines the Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities of Wipro Holmes with Pandorum`s expertise in regenerative medicine.

Global Markets:

The Dow Jones futures were up 30 points, indicating a positive opening in the US stock market today.

European markets nudged higher on Friday, as global investors assessed soaring U.S. inflation and a hawkish surprise from the European Central Bank, while continuing to track developments in Ukraine. Investors weighed the European Central Bank`s decision to unwind stimulus measures sooner than expected. The bank said Thursday it will end its bond-buying program in the third quarter of this year, if the economic data allows for it.

Russia`s invasion of Ukraine, and the subsequent barrage of Western economic sanctions against Moscow, has exacerbated price pressures that were already causing headaches for central bank policymakers. The huge inflation print bolstered expectations for more aggressive hikes to interest rates.

The ECB on Thursday announced that it will end its bond-buying program in the third quarter of 2022 if economic data justifies it, sooner than previously planned. President Christine Lagarde said the war will have a �material impact on economic activity and inflation.�

Market sentiment has been in thrall to developments in Ukraine since Russia launched its attack on Feb. 24. Talks between Russian and Ukrainian diplomats in Turkey have stalled without progress on a cease-fire or an evacuation passage for civilians attempting to flee the besieged city of Mariupol.

However, Asian stocks declined on Friday, tracking losses on Wall Street as the Russia-Ukraine war continues to keep investors cautious. Negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers reportedly ended with little progress on matters including a cease-fire or a safe passage for civilians trying to flee the besieged city of Mariupol.

Wall Street resumed its slide on Thursday, ending in the red as inflation hit a four-decade high, cementing expectations that the US Federal Reserve would hike key interest rates at the conclusion of next week`s monetary policy meeting to prevent the economy from overheating.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Thursday that America is set for another year of �very uncomfortably high� inflation amid the Russia-Ukraine war.

US consumer prices surged in February, culminating in the largest annual increase in 40 years. The consumer price index increased 0.8% last month after gaining 0.6% in January, the Labor Department said on Thursday. In the 12 months through February, the CPI shot up 7.9%, the biggest year-on-year increase since January 1982. That followed a 7.5% jump in January and was the fifth straight month of annual CPI readings north of 6%.

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