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Indian Indices End Higher, CPI Inflation Rises in February, and Top Cues in Focus Today
Thu, 14 Mar Pre-Open | Monish Vora, TM Team

Indian share markets continued their momentum during closing hours yesterday and ended on a positive note. Gains were largely seen in the telecom sector and realty sector.

At the closing bell yesterday, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 216 points (up 0.6%) and the NSE Nifty closed higher by 40 points (up 0.4%). The BSE Mid Cap index closed down by 0.4%, while the BSE Small Cap index ended the day down by 0.3%.

Top Stocks in Focus Today

From the aviation space, SpiceJet share price will be in focus today. The stock of the company witnessed selling pressure yesterday on fears that grounding of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will hurt the airline's revenue and profitability.

As per an article in The Economic Times, India has grounded Boeing 737 MAX being operated by airlines in the country after about 15 countries banned the aircraft following two deadly accidents within a span of five months.

Shares of the company fell around 8% in early trade today after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), India's aviation regulator, grounded Boeing 737 MAX planes following the fatal crash of a plane of the same model in Ethiopia.

Jet Airways share price will also be in focus as it was reported that the airline has grounded another four of its aircraft due to non-payment of lease rentals.

In the news from the pharma space, Cadila Healthcare share price will be in focus today as Zydus Cadila said it has received final approval from the US health regulator to market Potassium Chloride extended-release capsules, used to treat or prevent low amounts of potassium in the blood.

CPI Inflation Rises to 2.57% in February

In the news from the macroeconomic space, food prices registered their fifth successive monthly decline in February.

This comes as annual growth in India's benchmark inflation measure Consumer Price Index (CPI) was reported to be 2.57% for February 2019 against 1.97% in January.

However, food and beverage prices, which have a 46% weight in the total CPI basket, registered a fall.

This is the longest spell of a fall in food prices for the period covered by the new CPI series.

Reportedly, the fall is bound to put pressure on farm incomes, heightening the agrarian crisis that could play an important role in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

To be sure, the pace of fall in food prices has reduced in the past couple of months.

The growth in food and beverages component of CPI has increased by 122 basis points between January 2019 and February 2019.

There is also a rural-urban divide in the behaviour of food prices. While urban food inflation has been in positive territory for both January and February 2019, rural food inflation continues to be negative.

The recovery in urban food prices was also reflected in the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) for primary food articles, a useful proxy for farm-gate prices, which registered positive growth in January 2019. It had been falling continuously between August 2018 and December 2018.

WPI data for February is yet to be released.

A detailed breakup of CPI food basket also shows that the price crash in the headline food inflation number is because of fall in prices of fruits and vegetables, pulses and sugar.

In fact, inflation for vegetables, pulses and sugar has been in negative territory for the entire period between April 2018 and February 2019. Cereals, which are procured by the government at Minimum Support Prices (MSPs) have not faced a disinflation throughout this period.

The food inflation trends might have mixed political implications.

How this pans out remains to be seen. Meanwhile, we will keep you updated on all the developments from this space.

DLF Planning to Raise Around Rs 30 Billion

Moving on to the news from the realty sector, DLF share price will be in focus today as the company plans to raise an estimated Rs 30 billion by June through the sale of equity shares to qualified institutional investors.

Aiming to become a debt-free company, DLF had last year announced plans to issue up to 173 million shares through qualified institutional placement (QIP) to raise funds pre-pay loans.

Speaking of realty sector, note that The BSE Realty index has been volatile in the last five years.

Here's what Sarvajeet Bodas wrote about it in one of the recent editions of The 5 Minute WrapUp...

  • In 2017, the BSE Realty index was the best performer with a massive gain of 98%. In the next year, the index was the worst performer with a decline of 31%.

    In 2018, the realty sector took a beating on the back of concerns of higher interest rates and accounting changes (from percentage of completion method to completion method). The NBFC crisis added to the woes.

    Interestingly, 2018 also witnessed some improvement in real estate sales.

    2019 hasn't been good so far with the index down about 3%.

    However, the recent budgetary support and interest rate reduction by the RBI could help to revive demand.

    Buying the right real estate stock today is the way to go.

He believes, this could be the turning point for the real estate sector.

For information on how to pick stocks that have the potential to deliver big returns, download our special report now!

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