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Mid - Session Commentary
Gas utility stocks edge higher
12-Jan-18   14:14 Hrs IST

After hitting intraday lows in afternoon trade amid differences among sitting Supreme Court judges in full media glare, key benchmark indices hovered near the flat line in mid-afternoon trade. At 14:16 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 37.88 points or 0.11% at 34,541.37. The Nifty 50 index rose 1.90 points or 0.02% at 10,653.10.

The Sensex and Nifty had hit record highs in early trade on the back of positive trading sentiment in Asian stocks fueled by strong lead from Wall Street. Also, expectations of recovery in domestic earnings in Q3 FY 18 aided sentiment. Indices hovered with modest gains till mid-morning trade. Suddenly selling pressure emerged in afternoon trade after Supreme Court judges reportedly said working of Supreme Court was not in order.

Justice J Chelameswar, the second senior most judge in the Supreme Court, today, 12 January 2018, reportedly said the administration of the apex court is “sometimes not in order” and many “less than desirable things” have taken place. In an unprecedented move, Justice Chelameswar and three other senior judges today held a press conference on various issues relating to the apex court judiciary. Besides Justice Chelameswar, the other judges were Justices Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph. Unless this institution is preserved, democracy will not survive in this country, Justice Chelameswar reportedly said.

Among the secondary indices, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was down 0.29%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index declined 0.02%. Both these indices underperformed the Sensex.

The breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was negative. On the BSE, 1,613 shares declined and 1,209 shares advanced. A total of 156 shares were unchanged.

Gas utility stocks advanced. Gujarat Gas (up 4.2%), Petronet LNG (up 1.2%), Indraprastha Gas (up 0.56%) and Gujarat State Petronet (up 0.54%) gained.

GAIL (India) was up 0.12% at Rs 495.45 ahead of the company's Q3 December 2017 results scheduled today, 12 January 2018.

Aviation stocks dropped. SpiceJet (down 1.28%), Jet Airways (India) (down 0.58%) and InterGlobe Aviation (down 0.06%) edged lower.

On the macro front, the government is scheduled to announce industrial production data for November 2017 today, 12 January 2018. India's industrial production increased by 2.2% year-on-year in October, easing from an upwardly revised 4.1% gain in September.

The government will also announce today, 12 January 2018, inflation data based on consumer price index (CPI) for December 2017. Consumer prices increased 4.88% year-on-year in November, higher than 3.58% in October.

Overseas, European stocks edged higher in early trade ahead of earnings. Most Asian stocks closed higher after strong lead from Wall Street. China reported trade data for December with exports up 10.9% and imports rising 4.5%, resulting in a trade surplus at $54.69 billion. China reported a 7.9% jump in exports and 15.9% rise in imports — both in dollar terms — for 2017, the country's General Administration of Customs said today, 12 January 2018. China's overall trade surplus for 2017 was $422.5 billion.

US stocks surged to close the session at record highs yesterday, 11 January 2018 as investors bet economic growth would pick up steam.

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