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Indian Indices at All Time Highs; WPI Drops in December
Mon, 15 Jan 01:30 pm | Karan Janani, TM Team

After opening the day in green, share markets in India have continued the momentum and are presently trading near all-time high levels. Sectoral indices are trading on a mixed note, with stocks in the banking sector and stocks in the metal sector leading the gains.

The BSE Sensex is up by 250 points (up 0.7%) and the NSE Nifty is trading up by 60 points (up 0.6%). Meanwhile, the BSE Mid Cap index is trading down by 0.1%, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up by 0.3%. The rupee is trading at 63.46 to the US$.

In news about the economy. According to data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), retail inflation as measured by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) decelerated to 3.58% in December, a marginal drop from of 3.9% in November 2017.

Wholesale inflation rate, measured by the wholesale price index (WPI), is a marker for price movements in bulk buys for traders and broadly mirrors trends in shop-end prices.

The index portrays new series of WPI data released by the government earlier this fiscal, with 2011-12 as the base year, replacing existing the base year of 2004-05.

WPI Inflation Decreases in December

Food articles turned out to be major drivers as the data showed that inflation of wholesale food articles fell to 4.7% in October, as against a 6% rise in the previous month. However, fuel inflation was up by 9.1% as compared to a rise of 8.8% in November.

Data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) last week showed inflation measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) accelerated to a 17-month high at 5.2% in December from 4.8% a month ago.

This is the final set of data that finance minister will have before him as he sits down to finalize the Union budget for 2018-19, to be presented on 1 February.

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The latest, RBI Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) forecasted that retail inflation will hover around 4.2-4.6% between October-March this year, higher than the previous projection of 4-4.5%.

The RBI retained its neutral policy stance, citing uncertainty on the future trajectory of inflation because of several uncertainties, flagging possible return of inflationary pressures. However, it also kept the door ajar for a future rate cut if incoming data were conducive. While the government has been eyeing a sharp cut in interest rates, RBI has maintained its cautious stance.

Moving on to news from stocks in banking and finance sector. HDFC share price is in focus today after the NBFC (non-banking financial corporation) announced its fundraising plan.

HDFC was among the top movers on the indices today after the company's board approved fund raising worth over Rs 113 billion by issuing equity shares at Rs 1,726.05 per share.

The NBFC plans to issue shares to investors including global private equity firms GIC Singapore, KKR and Premji Invest.

HDFC's committee of directors approved the issuance of equity shares on a preferential basis.

Further, its board said it will further issue such number of equity shares through Qualified Institutional Payment (QIP) to raise up to Rs 18.9 billion.

This would take the total fund raising to over Rs 130 billion.

This will be the first equity raising by the country's largest pure-play mortgage lender in over a decade.

At the time of writing, HDFC share price was trading up by 2%.

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