After opening the day in the red, share markets in India witnessed choppy trades and have continued the downtrend. Sectoral indices are trading on a mixed note with stocks in the realty sector and stocks in the oil and gas sector leading the gains. Stocks in the pharma sector are trading in the red.
The BSE Sensex is trading down by 160 points (down 0.5%), and the NSE Nifty is trading down by 46 points (down 0.5%). Meanwhile, the BSE Mid Cap index is trading down by 0.3%, while the BSE Small Cap index is trading down by 0.1%. The rupee is trading at 66.79 to the US$.
In news about the economy. India’s services sector activity continued its slow but sustained growth. The country’s predominant sector witnessed expansion for the second consecutive month, according to the Nikkei Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey by Markit.
The Services PMI is the reading of the country’s services sector output and is updated monthly. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, while any score below the mark denotes contraction.
Services PMI Growth Back on TrackA second consecutive growth in new business resulted in another monthly climb in activity. The services PMI for April finished at 51.4 signaling a steady recovery from the 47.8 in February.
Indian services sector activity returned to its growth track in March, driven by greater inflows of new work, following which firms increased their staffing levels at the fastest pace in 7 years. Reflecting improved demand conditions and pressure on current resources, service providers expanded capacity by raising their staffing levels at the quickest pace since June 2011.
On the price front, India’s service sector firms continued to face higher cost burdens during March. Meanwhile, the pressure is seen to be mounted on the Reserve Bank of India to cut interest rates in the wake of declining retail inflation and the need to fuel growth momentum.