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Sensex Opens Marginally Up; Realty Stocks Gain
Tue, 26 Dec 09:30 am | Rini Mehta, TM Team

Asian stock markets are trading mixed today. Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 13 points in the early trade. On the other hand, China's Shanghai Composite gained 9 points. While, Hong Kong's Hang Seng remained closed on account of Christmas holiday. Major indices in the US closed slightly lower on Friday but finished higher for the week.

Back home, India share markets have opened the day marginally higher. The BSE Sensex is trading higher by 40 points while the NSE Nifty is trading higher by 19 points. The BSE Mid Cap index opened up by 0.3% while BSE Small Cap index opened the day up by 0.4%.

Barring bank stocks, all sectoral indices have opened the day in green with realty stocks and power stocks witnessing maximum buying interest. The rupee is trading at 64.04 to the US$.

Engineering stocks opened the day on a mixed note with Welspun Corp and TRF Ltd leading the gains. As per an article in a leading financial daily, against international competitive bidding (ICB), Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has secured a landmark contract for 146 sets of IGBT-based 3 phase electrics for 25 KV AC Mainline EMU (MEMU) trains.

The order is valued at Rs 6.7 billion, which has been placed on BHEL by Rail Coach Factory (RCF), Kapurthala.

BHEL's scope of the work in the order envisages design, manufacture, supply, installation and commissioning of IGBT-based propulsion system and other equipment for MEMU trains of Indian Railways.

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These state-of-the-art system and equipment will be developed and produced by BHEL at its various manufacturing plants located at Bengaluru, Bhopal and Jhansi.

One shall note that, the company has been supplying electric as well as diesel locomotives, EMUs, propulsion system sets and drives to Indian Railways over the years. Notably, BHEL has supplied 360 electric locomotives of various ratings to Indian Railways apart from over 370 Diesel Electric Shunting Locomotives to various industries which are operating successfully.

BHEL share price opened the day up by 2%.

Moving on to the news from the economy. Foreign portfolio investors have pulled out a massive Rs 73 billion (US$ 1.14 billion) from equities during December 1-22 from the country's stock markets this month so far. The outflow was primarily due to rising crude prices and widening fiscal deficit.

This comes following an eight-month high inflow of Rs 197.3 billion in November, mainly on account of the government's plan to recapitalise PSU banks and surge in India's ranking on the World Bank's ease of doing business list.

Further, this also marked the highest net investment by FPIs since March, they had poured in Rs 309.1 billion in the equity markets.

However, such investors put in Rs 13.6 billion in the debt markets during the period under review.

As per recently released data, India's fiscal deficit rose to 96.1% of the full-year target by the end of October. The fiscal deficit data overshadowed a strong GDP growth of 6.3% for September quarter. Further, Gross value Added (GVA) that excludes product taxes and subsidies recovered from 5.6% in June 2017 quarter to 6.1% in September 2017 quarter.

The uptick is a sign of a pick-up in economic growth engine. But it may still be early days, as the economy continues to grapple with several headwinds. Firstly, a part of the recovery during the September quarter is a one-off effect due to restocking by channel trade with the notebandi impact waning. Although GST is likely to usher in greater transparency and efficiency in the supply-chain network, the initial teething problems are likely to delay the recovery process.

Economy on Path to Recovery

Overall, FPIs have invested Rs 498.4 billion in equities so far in 2017 and another Rs 1.5 trillion in debt markets.

The major factor for FPIs going ahead would be to see growth coming back in the domestic economy, which has not yet picked up contrary to the expectation, the reports noted.

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