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Mid Session Commentary
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Benchmarks turn range bound
(12:20, 14 Sep 2018)

The market traded in narrow range near day's high in early afternoon trade. At 12:15 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 219.03 points or 0.58% at 37,936.99. The Nifty 50 index was up 84.40 points or 0.74% at 11,454.30. Positive leads from Asian markets and overnight gains on the Wall Street boosted investors sentiment.

The annual rate of inflation, based on monthly Wholesale Price Index (WPI), stood at 4.53% (provisional) for the month of August 2018 (over August 2017) as compared to 5.09% (provisional) for the previous month and 3.24% during the corresponding month of the previous year. The data was unveiled during trading hours today, 14 September 2018.

Among secondary barometers, the BSE Mid-Cap index was up 1.35%. The BSE Small-Cap index was up 1.19%. Both these indices outperformed the Sensex.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was strong. On BSE, 1676 shares rose and 709 shares fell. A total of 150 shares were unchanged.

Overseas, Asia markets were trading higher. The gains, however, were tampered by enduring concerns around trade following a tweet from US President Donald Trump.

Trump said on Thursday that Washington was under no pressure to make a deal with China, they are under pressure to make a deal with us. He added that the US will soon be taking in billions in tariffs & making products at home.

Trump's response came after reports on Wednesday said the US was seeking to restart trade negotiations with China as the two economic powerhouses remain locked in conflict with no resolution in sight.

Meanwhile, China reported better-than-expected industrial output and retail sales on Friday, but a key investment gauge fell to a fresh record low. Industrial output rose 6.1% in August from a year earlier, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said, a tick better than July. But production of key goods including motor vehicles and transport equipment actually fell. Output of cars barely grew, while crude steel production increased by just a third of the pace in the previous month. Retail sales rose 9% on-year. Fixed-asset investment growth slowed to 5.3% in January-August from the same period a year earlier, weighed down once again by slowing infrastructure growth.

US stocks closed higher Thursday, with the S&P 500 up for a fourth straight session on the back of strong technology shares. News that China may be receptive to overtures from the US on new talks also soothed trade-related jitters.

On the US data front, the consumer-price index rose by 0.2% in August, its fifth straight increase. Separately, initial jobless claims fell slightly in the latest week, coming in at a 49-year low.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank (ECB) made no change on interest rates, and repeated that it does not expect any changes until summer 2019 at least as it remains on track to end its bond-buying program in December. The ECB slightly trimmed its GDP growth forecasts for both 2018 and 2019, and ECB President Mario Draghi said that risks to the euro area's growth outlook were broadly balanced.

Back home, auto stocks were in demand. Ashok Leyland (up 2.27%), Maruti Suzuki India (up 1.76%), Tata Motors (up 1.62%), Eicher Motors (up 1.22%), Escorts (up 0.97%), Mahindra & Mahindra (up 0.74%), TVS Motor Company (up 0.57%), Hero MotoCorp (up 0.54%) and Bajaj Auto (up 0.45%), edged higher.

Power generation stocks rose. JSW Energy (up 4.08%), Reliance Infrastructure (up 3.60%), Jaiprakash Power Ventures (up 2.85%), Adani Power (up 2.50%), Tata Power (up 2.30%), NTPC (up 1.47%), Reliance Power (up 1.45%), GMR Infrastructure (up 1.11%), CESC (up 1.04%), Torrent Power (up 1.03%) and NHPC (up 0.20%), edged higher.

State-run Power Grid Corporation of India was up 3.36%. State-run Coal India was down 0.46%.

On the data front, India's industrial production (base year 2011-12=100) growth remained nearly flat and healthy at 6.6% in July 2018, compared with 6.9% growth recorded in June 2018. The industrial production growth for June 2018 has been revised marginally downwards from 7% increase reported provisionally. The data was announced after market hours on Wednesday, 12 September 2018.

The all-India general consumer price inflation (CPI) inflation dipped 3.69% in August 2018 (new base 2012=100), compared with 4.17% in July 2018. The corresponding provisional inflation rate for rural area was 3.41% and urban area 3.99% in August 2018 as against 4.11% and 4.32% in July 2018. The core CPI inflation declined to 5.90% in August 2018 compared with 6.29% in July 2018. The data was announced after market hours on Wednesday, 12 September 2018.

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