The market further pared gains in mid-morning trade. At 11:30 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 95.46 points or 0.25% at 38,119.78. The Nifty 50 index was up 29.90 points or 0.26% at 11,456.75. Auto shares declined.
Indices opened firmly higher, but pared gains as the session progressed. Broader market reversed early gains. Among secondary barometers, the BSE Mid-Cap index was down 0.03%. The BSE Small-Cap index was down 0.12%.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, turned negative from positive. On BSE, 992 shares rose and 1286 shares fell. A total of 141 shares were unchanged.
Indusind Bank was up 1.02%. The bank announced during trading hours today, 18 February 2019, that it inaugurated a branch in the Sadar Bazar area of Delhi, making it the 54th branch to become operational in the city. In a separate announcement, the bank said that it inaugurated a branch in Boisar, an upcoming industrial area situated in the Palghar district of Maharashtra. This is the Bank's first branch in this region.
Shares of public sector oil marketing companies (PSU OMCs) advanced. Indian Oil Corporation (up 4.37%), HPCL (up 2.19%) and BPCL (up 1.73%), edged higher.
Index heavyweight Reliance Industries (RIL) was up 1.22% at Rs 1338.75.
Auto shares witnessed selling pressure. Maruti Suzuki India (down 3.85%), Escorts (down 2.41%), Ashok Leyland (down 2.4%), Eicher Motors (down 2.23%), Hero MotoCorp (down 2.06%), Mahindra & Mahindra (down 1.2%), Bajaj Auto (down 0.8%) and TVS Motor Company (down 0.36%), edged lower. Tata Motors was up 1.64%.
On the economic front, India's trade deficit plunged 22% to 17-month low of $9.60 billion in February 2019 from $12.30 billion in February 2018. Merchandise exports rose 2.4% to $26.67 billion in February 2019 over a year ago. Merchandise imports dipped 5.4% to $36.26 billion. Oil imports declined 8.1% to $9.38 billion, while the non-oil imports also fell 4.4% to $26.89 billion in February 2019 over February 2018. The share of oil imports in total imports was 25.9% in February 2019, compared with 26.6% in February 2018.
Overseas, Asian shares were trading higher on Monday as investors awaited developments on the US-China trade front.
US stocks closed higher Friday, buoyed by encouraging headlines on US-China trade negotiations and Chinese assurances of forthcoming economic stimulus. According to reports, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang expressed optimism that a trade deal between China and the US can be achieved that suits both parties.
China will stick to its current targeted economic support strategy and resist the temptation to engage in large-scale stimulus like quantitative easing or a massive expansion in public spending, Li Keqiang added.
On the US data front, the New York Fed's Empire State index fell to a reading of 3.7 in March from 8.8 in the prior month. US industrial production rose by 0.1% in February. January's figure, however, was raised to show a 0.4% drop. Job openings in the US rose to 7.58 million in January, the third-highest level on record, according to the Labor Department.
Consumer sentiment rose in March to 97.8 from 93.8 in February, according to a preliminary reading of the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index.