Local stocks logged modest gains in steady session of trade. The Sensex settled above the psychological 36,000 level after moving above and below that level in opening trade. Positive global stocks boosted sentiment.

Key benchmark indices drifted higher in early trade on buying demand in index pivotals. Stocks held onto gains in morning trade. Key indices hovered in small range with modest gains in mid-morning trade. Local stocks pared some intraday gains in early afternoon trade. The market turned range bound in afternoon trade. Market regained strength in mid-afternoon trade as European stocks were trading higher in early trade. Stocks extended gains in late trade.

The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rose 196.37 points or 0.55% to settle at 36,063.81. The index hit high of 36,140.67 and low of 35,952.41 in intraday trade.

The Nifty 50 index rose 71 points or 0.66% to settle at 10,863.50. The index hit high of 10,877.90 and low of 10,823.10 in intraday trade.

The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index rose 1.29%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index rose 2.13%. Both these indices outperformed the Sensex.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was strong. On the BSE, 1906 shares rose and 666 shares fell. A total of 134 shares were unchanged.

Among the sectoral indices on BSE, the S&P BSE Basic Materials index (up 1.66%), the S&P BSE Industrials index (up 1.59%) and the S&P BSE Metal index (up 1.57%), outperformed the Sensex. The S&P BSE Telecom index (down 1.34%), the S&P BSE Realty index (up 0.01%) and the S&P BSE Energy index (up 0.29%), underperformed the Sensex.

IndusInd Bank (up 2.94%), Yes Bank (up 2.68%), Vedanta (up 2.24%), Hero MotoCorp (up 1.78%) and Coal India (up 1.77%) edged higher from the Sensex pack.

Asian Paints (down 1.2%), Bajaj Auto (down 1.16%) and Axis Bank (down 0.8%) edged lower from the Sensex pack.

Kotak Mahindra Bank rose 1.17%. Kotak Mahindra Bank revised the marginal cost of funds based lending rate downwards by up to 5 basis points (bps) with effect from 1 March 2019 for various tenors. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 28 February 2019.

HDFC Bank rose 0.05%. HDFC Bank said it will buy a 9.11% stake in CSC E-Governance Services. The acquisition, for Rs 14.62 crore, which HDFC Bank termed as a strategic investment, will be on cash basis. The bank executed an agreement for subscribing to 37,993 equity shares of face value of Rs 1,000 each to be issued by CSC E-Governance Services India at Rs 3,848 per equity share. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 28 February 2019.

Bharti Airtel dropped 3.43%. Bharti Airtel said that its board approved raising upto Rs 32,000 crore through rights issue of upto Rs 25,000 crore and perpetual bond with equity credit upto Rs 7000 crore. Rights issue price is set at Rs 220 per fully paid equity share. The company will issue 19 rights shares for every 67 equity shares held by eligible shareholders as on the record date. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 28 February 2019.

Car major Maruti Suzuki India rose 1.48%. The company during market hours today said that its total sales fell 0.8% to 148,682 units in February 2019 over February 2018. Maruti Suzuki India said total domestic sales rose 0.9% to 139,100 units, while total exports fell 19.6% to 9,582 units.

Bajaj Auto fell 1.16% after the company reported 10% growth in its total vehicles sales to 3.93 lakh units in February 2019 over February 2018. Bajaj Auto's total domestic sales rose 4% to 2.21 lakh units, while total exports rose 19% to 1.71 lakh units in January 2019 over January 2018. The announcement was made during market hours today, 1 March 2019.

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) rose 0.43%. M&M during market hours today announced its auto sales performance for February 2019 which stood at 56,005 vehicles, compared to 51,127 units during February 2018, a growth of 10%. M&M's Farm Equipment Sector (FES) domestic tractor sales in February 2019 were at 18,105 units, as against 19,442 units during February 2018. Total tractor sales (domestic + exports) during February 2019 were at 18,978 units, as against 20,658 units for the same period last year. Exports for the month stood at 873 units.

SML ISUZU hit an upper circuit limit of 20% at Rs 682.55 after the company said its total sales rose 32.85% to 1,282 units in February 2019 over February 2018. The announcement was made during market hours today, 1 March 2019.

On the macro front, the health of the Indian manufacturing sector strengthened further in February, data released today showed. At 54.3 in February, up from 53.9 in January, the Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) reached a 14-month high. The latest figure was consistent with a robust improvement in business conditions that was stronger than seen on average over the 14-year survey history.

India's gross domestic product (GDP) growth moderated to six-quarters low of 6.6% in Q3 of 2018-19 from 7% growth recorded in the previous quarter and 7.7% improvement in the corresponding quarter last year. Quarterly Gross Value Added (GVA) growth also eased to 6.3% in Q3 of 2018-19 from 6.8% in Q2 of 2018-19 and 7.3% in Q3FY of 2017-18. The data was released after market hours yesterday, 28 February 2019.

The GDP growth estimate for 2018-19 is revised downward to 7% from 7.2% growth estimated at first advances estimate level released in January 2019. The GDP growth for agriculture sector is expected to ease to 2.7% and services sector to 7.4% in 2018-19, while industrial sector growth estimate to accelerate to 7.7% in 2018-19.

The output of eight core industries comprising 40.27%of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) rose 1.8% in January 2019 over January 2018. Its cumulative output increased 4.5% in April to January 2018-19. The data was released after market hours yesterday, 28 February 2019.

Overseas, European equities were trading higher as a rebound in China manufacturing index buoyed automaker and luxury shares. Most Asian shares rose on Friday, driven by a rally in Chinese markets after index publisher MSCI announced it would boost the proportion of mainland shares in its global benchmarks. Global index provider MSCI said it would quadruple the weighting of mainland shares in its global benchmarks later this year, potentially drawing more than $80 billion of fresh foreign inflows to the world's second-biggest economy.

A private gauge of China's factory activity rebounded to its three-month high in February. The Caixin China manufacturing purchasing managers' index rose to 49.9 in February from 48.3 in January, Caixin Media Co. and research firm Markit said on Friday.

U.S. stocks finished lower Thursday after a sudden breakdown in denuclearization talks with North Korea weighed on sentiment. Better-than-expected fourth-quarter gross domestic product data helped to offset some of the selling pressure during the session.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders reportedly said that a U.S.-North Korean nuclear agreement couldn't be reached at the summit in Hanoi because the isolated nation wanted more sanctions lifted than Trump would allow. On Wednesday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the U.S. would abandon for now its threat to raise tariffs to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese goods on March 2.

The Commerce Department's estimate of fourth-quarter GDP growth showed the U.S. economy growing at a rate of 2.6%. GDP grew at 2.9% during 2018, according to the preliminary estimates by the Commerce Department, representing the best growth in three years. However, expansion tapered from heady levels of a 4.2% growth rate in the second quarter of 2018.

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