Indian shares are trading on a flat note as investors lacked fresh incentives to drive equities higher. Most markets across the Asia-Pacific region, including those in China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Philippines are closed for the Lunar New Year holidays.
Australia's All Ordinaries index is edging down marginally, while Indonesia's Jakarta Composite index is gaining 0.4 percent. The U.S. and European markets rose on Friday, supported by improving U.S. economic data and after European leaders finally agreed on the budget framework for the next seven years.
Closer home, the benchmark BSE Sensex and the broader Nifty index are currently down about 0.15 percent each, while the BSE mid-cap and small-cap indexes are posting modest gains. FMCG and capital goods stocks are subdued, but consumer durable, healthcare and realty stocks are gaining ground, helping limit the downside.
State-run oil companies are coming under selling pressure after Brent crude prices hit a nine-month high on Friday on strong demand from China, geopolitical concerns and relatively lower supplies from the Opec oil cartel. BPCL is down 0.8 percent, HPCL is declining 0.4 percent and explorer ONGC is moving down 0.9 percent.
United Bank of India is losing 0.2 percent on reports the state-run lender will likely get Rs 100-crore capital infusion through preferential issue of shares to the government by the end of next month.
Mahindra and Mahindra is edging down marginally after it agreed to buy a 26 percent stake in its defense joint venture with BAE Systems.
MCX, the third full-fledged bourse to commence trading in equities after BSE and NSE, is moving down 0.6 percent while shares of Financial Technologies are losing 2.3 percent. GMR Infrastructure is losing over 2 percent after its Q3 loss widened.
Britannia Industries and Jaiprakash Associates are gaining about half a percent each ahead of their quarterly results today. Indraprastha Gas is rising 1.1 percent after hiking the domestic piped natural gas prices for households in Delhi, Noida, Greater Noida and Ghaziabad with effect from Sunday.
MBL Infrastructure is adding half a percent on bagging an order for developing a 47-km road from Garra-Waraseoni up to Maharashtra border in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries is gaining 0.7 percent after it called off its proposal to get a full control over its Israeli subsidiary Taro Pharmaceuticals. Hexaware Technologies is rallying 3.4 percent after releasing consolidated results for the quarter ended December.
by RTT Staff Writer
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