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Key benchmark indices were trading higher in early trade. At 9:18 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 132.40 points or 0.34% at 39,408.04. The Nifty 50 index was up 26.50 points or 0.22% at 11,813.65.

Among secondary barometers, the BSE Mid-Cap index was up 0.12%. The BSE Small-Cap index was up 0.11%. Both these indices underperformed the Sensex.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was positive. On BSE, 585 shares rose and 411 shares fell. A total of 69 shares were unchanged.

On the political front, voting in the second phase of the 2019 general elections began today, 18 April 2019, with 95 constituencies across 11 states and one Union Territory going to polls.

The 2019 Indian general election, which is scheduled to be held in seven phases, kicked off on 11 April 2019. It will conclude on 19 May 2019. The counting of votes will be conducted on 23 May, and on the same day the results will be declared

Overseas, most Asian shares traded lower on Thursday. Chinese government data showed the country's economy grew 6.4% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2019, maintaining the pace seen in the last quarter of 2018 as factory output picked up steam.

US stocks closed lower Wednesday as the health-care sector slumped on concerns over potential adverse impact from future policy changes.

The US trade deficit fell 3.4% in February to the lowest level in eight months, the Commerce Department said. Meanwhile, wholesale inventories in the US rose a mild 0.2% in February and sales increased 0.3%.

Meanwhile, most of the US Federal Reserve's 12 district banks reported economic activity expanded at a slight-to-moderate pace in March and early April, according to the Federal Reserve's Beige Book report, released Wednesday.

Back home, Wipro was up 0.37%. The company's consolidated net profit fell 1.07% to Rs 2483.50 crore on 1.45% rise in total income to Rs 15915.30 crore in Q4 March 2019 over Q3 December 2018. The result was announced after market hours on Tuesday, 16 April 2019.

The board of directors of Wipro has approved a proposal to buyback up to 32.30 crore shares of the company for an aggregate amount not exceeding Rs 10500 crore, being 5.35% of the total paid-up equity share capital, at a price of Rs 325 per share. Members of the promoter and promoter group of the company have indicated their intention to participate in the proposed buyback.

Reliance Industries (RIL) was up 2.13%. Reliance Ethane Holding Pte. Ltd. (“REHPL”) (incorporated in Singapore, a wholly owned subsidiary of RIL, having 100% holding in six limited liability companies (LLCs) which own Very Large Ethane Carriers (“VLEC” or the “Vessel”)), Mitsui O.S.K Lines (MOL) of Japan and a strategic minority investor have signed binding definitive agreements for a strategic investment by MOL and minority investor in the six special purpose limited liability companies (SPVs), each owning a VLEC. The announcement was made yesterday, 17 April 2019.

Cipla was up 0.02%. The company's wholly-owned subsidiary Cipla Medpro South Africa (Pty) has signed an agreement on 16 April 2019, to acquire 30% stake in Brandmed (Pty) (Brandmed). The transaction is expected to be completed on or before 31 May 2019. The announcement was made after market hours on Tuesday, 16 April 2019.

Cadila Healthcare was up 0.44%. Zydus Cadila has received the final approval from the USFDA to market Acetazolamide for Injection USP (US RLD —Diamox for Injection), 500 mg per single-dose vial. It will be manufactured at the group's formulations manufacturing facility at Moraiya, Ahmedabad. The announcement was made yesterday, 17 April 2019.

Sasken Technologies was up 4.12%. The company has scheduled a board meeting on 23 April 2019 to consider buy-back of fully paid-up equity shares of the company. The announcement was made after market hours on Tuesday, 16 April 2019.

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