The main Indian equity indices held on to modest gains after two successive days of declines, with the NSE Nifty ending just above 5,700 after closing below it in the previous session. The BSE Sensex was up ~0.4% as well, while the broader indices too notched up decent gains. As a result, the overall market breadth was favourable. The INDIA VIX was down ~2% on the NSE today.
The BSE Sensex ended at 18,793, up 84 points over the previous close. It had earlier touched a day's high of 18,885 and hit a day's low of 18,722. It opened at 18,796.
The NSE Nifty closed at 5,702, up 28 points or ~0.5% over the previous close. It earlier touched a day’s high of 5,728 and a day’s low of 5,677. It opened at 5,708.
The BSE Small-Cap index and the BSE Mid-Cap index were up by ~0.3% and ~0.5%, respectively.
Consumer Durables, Pharma, IT and FMCG indices were the biggest leaders among the sectoral plays followed by Capital Goods and Banking indices. Metals and Realty indices gained ~0.5% apiece.
The Oil & Gas index was the biggest loser while the rest of the sectoral indices were flat.
L&T, Infosys, Sun Pharma, Sterlite Industries, HUL, Cipla, ICICI Bank, Tata Steel, Hero MotoCorp., UltraTech Cement, Ranbaxy, Lupin, Kotak Bank, Sesa Goa, Power Grid Corp. and HCL Tech were the top leaders in the two main indices.
Gail, BHEL, Bharti Airtel, NTPC, Hindalco, Siemens and Tata Motors were the biggest laggards in the Sensex and the Nifty.
The IMF has slashed its 2012 GDP growth forecast for India, to 4.9% from 6.2% earlier.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has warned of further slowdown if reforms are stalled. He has promised more reforms going ahead while also pledging to deliver a credible plan on fiscal consolidation.
India's new drive to reform its economy will spur growth in private investment and income, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Tuesday.
Geithner said the new policies offered "a very promising path to improving growth outcomes for the Indian economy".
Chidambaram said that he had raised the US Federal Reserve's new round of quantitative easing (QE3) with Geithner.
"I raised the concern that it may impact commodity prices and commodity prices may rise," Chidambaram said.
"There is also of course a beneficial side. Some of that money may come to India as investments. But we need to balance both the advantages and disadvantages," he said.
Chidambaram added that it was too early to conclude what the impact of QE3 would be.
The undertone today received a boost from firm trading across other Asian markets.
Asian equity benchmarks closed mostly higher, led by strength in the Chinese and Hong Kong indices, after the central bank in China injected fresh liquidity into its banking system to ease monetary conditions amid concern about slowing economic growth.
However, a cut in the global growth forecast by the IMF and its warning about deteriorating economic conditions in the US and Europe partly dampened the mood across Asian markets today.
Australian stocks climbed to a fresh 14-month high, as commodity producers rallied while Japanese stocks declined as trading resumed after Monday’s holiday.
European stock markets opened slightly higher today but could not hold on to the early gains in light of the IMF's move to cut its global growth forecasts.
The losses in Europe were led by banks.
For 2012, the IMF expects the global economy to expand by 3.3% compared with a 3.5% estimate made in July; expected growth in 2013 was revised down to 3.6% from 3.9%.
The IMF urged Greece to pay more attention to fiscal structural reforms and the country’s indebtedness, amid austerity negotiations with its international lenders.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was scheduled to visit Greece today for the first time since 2007, while Europe’s finance ministers will conclude a two-day meeting in Luxembourg.
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