It's a slightly listless start for the Indian stock market this morning, with investors tracking mixed global cues and looking ahead to some key earnings reports.
Even as information technology stocks attract some strong buying interest, the broad market is a bit sluggish.
The BSE benchmark Sensex is up 37.25 points or 0.13% at 28,192.81, after scaling a high of 28,264.67 and a low of 28,146.19 earlier. The Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange, which declined to 8719.60 after advancing to 8751.45 in early trades, is currently up 6 points or 0.07% at 8730.70.
In the forex market, the rupee opened at 66.94 against the U.S. dollar, down 4 paise from its previous close of 66.90.
Among IT majors Tata Consultancy Services is rising nearly 2%, Infosys is up 1.6% and Wipro is gaining about 0.75%. Tata Elxsi, Tech Mahindra, MindTree, KPIT Technologies and HCL Technologies are up 0.75% - 2% and Oracle Financial Services is up marginally.
State Bank of India is up more than 1.5%. The bank has announced that the Cabinet has approved the proposal for merger of State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Patiala and State Bank of Hyderabad with State Bank of India.
Shares of State Bank of Travancore (5.2%), State Bank of Mysore (5%) and State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur (4.3%) are up sharply. State Bank of Hyderabad and State Bank of Patiala are not listed on the exchanges.
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries is gaining nearly 2%. Maruti Suzuki is up 1.2%. GAIL India, Reliance Industries, NTPC, Tata Motors, Cipla and Axis Bank are modestly higher.
Dr Reddy's Laboratories is down more than 2% after the company announced that the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey has found that the company's proposed palonosetron hydrochloride product (0.25 mg / 5ml) infringes certain claims of U.S. Patent and that the asserted claims were not invalid. Dr Reddy's Laboratories has stated that it intends to pursue an appeal in due course.
ICICI Bank is lower by about 2%. Adani Ports is declining 1.6%. ITC, Coal India, Larsen & Toubro, Hero Motocorp, Bajaj Auto and Power Grid Corporation are down 0.5% - 1%.
In economic news, India's merchandize exports expanded for a fifth straight month in January 2017, rising 4.32% to $22.1 billion thanks to increase in shipments of engineering and petroleum products, official data showed. Imports also rose by 10.7%, leading to the trade deficit expanding to $9.84 billion.