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Key equity indices sharply pared gains and were trading almost flat in morning trade. At 10:20 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 23.27 points or 0.06% at 36,129.77. The Nifty 50 index was up 6.10 points or 0.06% at 10,827.70. Weakness in IT shares capped gains. Gains in ITC and HDFC twins supported bourses at lower levels.

The indices opened higher and hit fresh intraday higher in early deals. Indices sharply pared gains in morning trade.

Among secondary barometers, the BSE Mid-Cap index was down 0.12%. The BSE Small-Cap index was up 0.09%.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was positive. On BSE, 1009 shares rose and 786 shares fell. A total of 101 shares were unchanged.

ITC was up 1.49% at Rs 293.85. HDFC was up 0.90% at Rs 1996.85. HDFC Bank was up 0.45% at Rs 2118.95.

IT shares were trading lower. Hexaware Technologies (down 2.1%), Persistent Systems (down 1.89%), MindTree (down 1.61%), HCL Technologies (down 1.44%), MphasiS (down 0.81%), Wipro (down 0.63%) and Oracle Financial Services Software (down 0.35%), edged lower. Tech Mahindra was up 0.24%.

TCS was down 2.07%. The company's consolidated net profit rose 2.58% to Rs 8105 crore on 2.43% rise in total income to Rs 38501 crore in Q3 December 2018 over Q2 September 2018. The result was announced after market hours yesterday, 10 January 2019.

Commenting on the Q3 performance, Rajesh Gopinathan, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, said the strong client metrics, industry leading growth in digital services, a very strong order book and deal pipeline are all validations that customers recognize the company's differentiated capabilities and are picking it for their growth and transformation programs.

Infosys was down 0.04%. The company announces its Q3 December 2018 results today, 11 January 2019. The company announced on 8 January 2019 that its board will consider proposals, including but not limited to, buyback of fully paid-up equity shares of the company, payment of special dividend, for implementation of the Capital Allocation Policy at its meeting to be held on 11 January 2019. The outcome of the board meeting will be disseminated to the stock exchanges after conclusion of the board meeting on 11 January 2019.

FMCG shares were mixed. Hindustan Unilever (up 0.48%), Britannia Industries (up 0.30%), GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (up 0.30%), Bajaj Corp (up 0.23%), Jyothy Laboratories (up 0.22%), Dabur India (up 0.21%) and Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care (up 0.09%), edged higher. Tata Global Beverages (down 0.07%), Godrej Consumer Products (down 0.15%), Colgate Palmolive (India) (down 0.16%), Marico (down 0.27%) and Nestle India (down 0.67%), edged lower.

On the macro front, the GST council in its 32nd meeting held yesterday, 10 January 2019, under the Chairmanship of the Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs, Arun Jaitley in New Delhi took major decisions to give relief to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) (including small traders) among others. The council increased turnover limit for the existing composition scheme. The limit of annual turnover in the preceding financial year for availing composition scheme for goods shall be increased to Rs 1.5 crore. Special category states would decide, within one week, about the composition limit in their respective states.

The compliance under composition scheme shall be simplified as now they would need to file one annual return but payment of taxes would remain quarterly (along with a simple declaration).

The council also announced that there would be two threshold limits for exemption from registration and payment of GST for the suppliers of goods i.e. Rs 40 lakh and Rs 20 lakh. States would have an option to decide about one of the limits within a weeks' time. The threshold for registration for service providers would continue to be Rs 20 lakhs and in case of special category States at Rs 10 lakh.

A composition scheme shall be made available for suppliers of services (or mixed suppliers) with a tax rate of 6% (3% CGST +3% SGST) having an annual turnover in the preceding financial year up to Rs 50 lakh. The said scheme shall be applicable to both service providers as well as suppliers of goods and services, who are not eligible for the presently available composition scheme for goods. They would be liable to file one annual return with quarterly payment of taxes (along with a simple declaration).

Overseas, Asian stocks were trading higher on Friday, amid improved investor sentiment following overnight gains on Wall Street.

US stock markets logged a fifth straight advance on Thursday, representing the longest such win streaks for the Dow and S&P 500 of the past few months. Investors responded to comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. At the Economic Club of Washington, Powell reiterated the views of other policymakers that the Fed would be patient about interest rate hikes. He added that the Fed's balance sheet would be substantially smaller.

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