March 18, 2018 Sunday 20:33 Hrs
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Pre - Session Commentary
Market may edge higher in early trade
05-Mar-18   07:57 Hrs IST

Trading of Nifty 50 index futures on the Singapore stock exchange indicates that the Nifty could gain 28.50 points at the opening bell.

Overseas, Asian stocks edged lower in early trade. US stocks closed well off session lows on Friday, 2 March 2018, helped by a sharp rise in health care shares. Stocks traded sharply lower earlier in the session on fears that President Donald Trump's announced tariffs on steel and aluminum could spark a trade war.

Back home, among corporate news, Hero MotoCorp's two-wheeler sales rose 20% to 6.29 lakh units in February 2018 over February 2017. Riding on robust demand for its popular range of two-wheelers, Hero MotoCorp delivered a strong sales performance in February 2018, thereby further consolidating its dominant market leadership. This sales performance by the company has been driven by strong growth in scooters, in addition to the continued momentum across the range of its motorcycle brands. The announcement was made after market hours on Thursday, 1 March 2018.

Wipro announced the expansion of its Live Workspace suite of offerings, providing enterprises with an anywhere, anytime, any device digital workplace. This will allow enterprises to offer their employees a choice when deciding which tools enable them to be more productive, creative and collaborative. The announcement was made after market hours on Thursday, 1 March 2018.

Reliance Industries (RIL) will be watched. RIL's step-down subsidiary Reliance Brands (RBL) has completed acquisition of additional 5.3% stake in equity share capital of Genesis Luxury Fashion (GLF) for a cash consideration of Rs 35.39 crore. With this acquisition, the stake of RBL in GLF's equity share capital has gone up to 46.6%. The announcement was made after market hours on Thursday, 1 March 2018. The stock market was closed on Friday, 2 March 2018 on account of Holi.

RBL is a subsidiary of Reliance Retail Ventures, one of the retail arms of RIL and is partner of choice for various international brands. RBL, inter alia, held 41.3% investment in equity shares of GLF.

Markit Economics will unveil the result of a monthly survey on the performance of India's services sector in February 2018 today, 5 March 2018. The Nikkei Services PMI in India increased to 51.7 in January, from 50.9 in the prior month.

Among key domestic events, in a big morale booster to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the centre, the BJP along with its ally Indigenous People's Front Of Tripura has secured a comfortable majority by bagging 43 out of 59 seats in the recently held assembly elections in Tripura. In Nagaland, the ruling Naga Peoples Front (NPF) emerged as the single largest party, securing 27 out of 59 seats. The BJP has secured 12 seats. In a rude shock, the Congress party has been wiped out from Tripura and Nagaland, having failed to secure a single seat in these two states. In Meghalaya, the Congress has emerged as the single largest party, securing 21 out of 59 assembly seats, followed by the National People's Party bagging 19 seats. The counting of votes for the assembly elections took place over the weekend.

Meanwhile, the developments in the Budget Session of Parliament will be closely watched. Both the Houses of Parliament which were adjourned on 9 February 2018 for a recess, resumes today, 5 March 2018. The second part of Parliament's Budget Session is likely to begin on a stormy note with the Congress and other opposition parties set to raise the issue of multi-crore financial scams involving public-sector banks in both the Houses. The second part of the session would primarily see discussions on the demand for grants for various ministries.

Key benchmark indices ended the session with losses on Thursday, 1 March 2018, on weaker sentiment in global markets. The Sensex had fallen 137.10 points or 0.4% to settle at 34,046.94, its lowest closing level since 22 February 2018. The stock market was shut on Friday, 2 March 2018 on account of Holi.

The trading activity on that day showed that the foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 241.85 crore on 1 March 2018 as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 3.29 crore on 1 March 2018, as per provisional data.

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