Markets trade firm in early deals; Sensex surpasses 54K mark

The BSE Mid cap index rose 0.31%, while Small cap index was up by 0.51%

Indian equity benchmarks extended their previous session’s gains with optimistic start on Wednesday tracking gains in global peers. Indices claimed fresh record peak for the second consecutive day. Markets are trading firm in early deals ahead of Services PMI data to be out later in the day. Sensex and Nifty are trading above their physiological levels of 54,200 and 16,200, respectively. Traders took note of report that the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has extended the due dates for electronic filing of various forms under the Income-tax Act, 1961 considering the difficulties reported by the taxpayers and other stakeholders in the electronic filing of certain Forms. Traders overlooked report that the reproduction number of coronavirus has increased beyond one in eight states across the country with the health ministry sounding cautious that the second wave of the epidemic was still raging.

Most of the Asian markets were trading higher following the broadly positive cues overnight from Wall Street, as traders shrugged off concerns about the rapid spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus amid continued optimism about the economic outlook. Meanwhile, the services sector in Japan continued to contract in July, and at a faster rate, the latest survey from Jibun Bank showed, with a services PMI score of 47.4.

Back home, NBFCs stocks were in focus as rating agency Icra said the asset quality of non-banking finance companies will see elevated stress levels in the near term due to the second wave of the pandemic, but the stress will subside subsequently as collection efficiencies improve and restructuring picks up. In scrip specific development, Ashoka Buildcon gained as ABL Indira Projects -- a Joint Venture between Ashoka Buildcon and Indira Projects and Developments have signed an engineering, procurement and construction contract worth Rs 350 crore with the Maldives Police Service.

The BSE Sensex is currently trading at 54271.80, up by 448.44 points or 0.83% after trading in a range of 54034.31 and 54273.18. There were 21 stocks advancing against 9 stocks declining on the index.

The broader indices were trading in green; the BSE Mid cap index rose 0.31%, while Small cap index was up by 0.51%.

The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Metal up by 1.66%, Bankex up by 1.04%, Energy up by 0.93%, Basic Materials up by 0.86%, Power up by 0.68%, while Telecom down by 1.09%, FMCG down by 0.35%, Realty down by 0.32% were the few losing indices on BSE.

The top gainers on the Sensex were HDFC up by 3.19%, ICICI Bank up by 2.22%, Tata Steel up by 2.20%, Dr. Reddy's Lab up by 1.66% and Reliance Industries up by 1.11%. On the flip side, Bharti Airtel down by 1.52%, Nestle down by 0.93%, Sun Pharma down by 0.50%, Ultratech Cement down by 0.28% and Titan Company down by 0.24% were the top losers.

Meanwhile, the government has said that it expects the total debt as percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) to increase to 61.7 per cent (provisional) in 2021-22 (FY22) from 60.5 per cent (provisional) in the previous fiscal. At the same time, public debt would rise to 54.2 per cent in the current financial year from 52 per cent in 2020-21.

Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary said the government's amendment of the FRBM Act will target a path of fiscal consolidation aimed towards reaching a level of fiscal deficit below 4.5 per cent of GDP by 2025-26.

The government expects fiscal deficit to come down to 6.8 per cent in the current fiscal from 9.3 per cent estimated for 2020-21. He added amendment to the FRBM debt targets will be in consonance with the broad fiscal deficit path.

The CNX Nifty is currently trading at 16246.25, up by 115.50 points or 0.72% after trading in a range of 16176.15 and 16254.70. There were 34 stocks advancing against 16 stocks declining on the index.

The top gainers on Nifty were HDFC up by 3.07%, Shree Cement up by 2.21%, Tata Steel up by 2.13%, ICICI Bank up by 2.06% and Dr. Reddy's Lab up by 1.66%. On the flip side, Bharti Airtel down by 1.45%, Tata Consumer Products down by 1.21%, Nestle down by 0.84%, ONGC down by 0.81% and Britannia Industries down by 0.55% were the top losers.

Asian markets were trading mostly in green; Straits Times jumped 28.26 points or 0.90% to 3,177.51, Hang Seng surged 448.94 points or 1.71% to 26,643.76, Taiwan Weighted rose 45.64 points or 0.26% to 17,599.40, KOSPI gained 36.10 points or 1.12% to 3,273.24, Jakarta Composite added 18.47 points or 0.30% to 6,149.04 and Shanghai Composite was up by 19.31 points or 0.56% to 3,467.30, while Nikkei 225 fell 65.95 points or 0.24% to 27,575.88.