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Mid - Session Commentary
Shares in recovery mode
16-May-18   13:19 Hrs IST

Key barometers sharply pared losses in afternoon trade, tracking positive opening in European market. At 13:22 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 27.51 points or 0.08% at 35,516.43. The Nifty 50 index was down 21.50 points or 0.20% at 10,780.35. The undertone of the market, however, was weak due to political uncertainty in Karnataka and mixed Asian stocks.

Local stocks began trading for the day on a weak note as US and Asian shares declined amid rising geopolitical tensions in the Korean peninsula. Key benchmark indices extended early slide and hit fresh intraday low in morning trade. Stocks pared losses in afternoon trade.

The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was up 0.11%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index was up 0.13%. Both these indices outperformed the Sensex.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was weak. On the BSE, 970 shares rose and 1,498 shares fell. A total of 112 shares were unchanged.

Hindustan Unilever (up 2.97%), Wipro (up 2.46%), Yes Bank (up 1.55%), Tata Motors (up 0.81%) and IndusInd Bank (up 0.65%), were the major Sensex gainers.

ICICI Bank (down 2.42%), Hero MotoCorp (down 2.35%), Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (down 1.65%), State Bank of India (down 1.29%) and ONGC (down 0.98%), were the major Sensex losers.

Index heavyweight and housing finance major HDFC was down 0.25% to Rs 1925.05.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries (RIL) was down 1.47% to Rs 965.

Index heavyweight and cigarette major ITC was down 0.21% to Rs 281.20.

Index heavyweight and IT major Infosys was down 0.01% to Rs 1,192.45.

Engineering & construction major L&T was down 0.67% to Rs 1,366.85.

On the political front, Karnataka delivered a hung Assembly on Tuesday with no party getting a clear majority to form government in the state. While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged as the single-largest party, winning 104 seats, the Congress and the Janata Dal Secular (JDS) stood second and third with wins on 78 and 38 seats respectively. All eyes are now on Governor Vajubhai Vala as both the BJP and the post-poll combine of the Congress and the JDS have staked a claim to form the government.

Overseas, shares in Europe were trading higher as investors monitored surging interest rates in the bond markets. Asian stocks were mixed as geopolitical developments and rising benchmark US yields spurred a return of risk aversion. North Korea canceled high-level talks with Seoul, denouncing military exercises between South Korea and the United States, breaking from several months of easing relations on the peninsula. This has also raised concerns about the planned summit between US President Donald Trump and his North Korean counterpart leader Kim Jong Un scheduled next month.

US stocks halted a four-day rally yesterday, 15 May 2018 with the steepest slide in almost two weeks as healthcare and tech shares retreated. Investors are weighing the prospect for higher Federal Reserve rates as strong US retail and factory data on Tuesday fueled bets the Fed may raise rates three more times this year.

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