The benchmark index Nifty surged close to 1% on back of short covering despite weak global cues. Asian shares fell on Thursday, as a weak Chinese trade data stoked fears of a growth slowdown
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RBI steps in
To curb the slide in the rupee, the Reserve Bank of India has asked exporters to convert 50% of their dollars held in Exchange Earner's Foreign Currency (EEFC) accounts into rupee. The central bank has also ruled that exporters can henceforth access the forex market for buying dollars only after they have utilized the balance in their EEFC accounts.
Metal shares shine in trade after recent fall, with private sector aluminium major Hindalco Industries gaining for third straight session on strong Q4 sequential growth. ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, reaffirmed its earnings guidance for the first half of the year at the time of unveiling Q1 March 2012 results today.
Capital goods stocks were in limelight on bargain hunting after recent slide. Auto stocks were on buyers radar after recent losses triggered by most auto companies reporting tepid sales growth for April 2012.
Power generation major NTPC rose ahead of its FY 2012 results today. Pharma major Cipla too advanced ahead of its Q4 results.
In the largecap space, heavyweights like IDFC, Cairn India, BHEL, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra were trading in green. Ranbaxy Labs, Maruti Suzuki, PNB, Infosys and Asian Paints were bleeding in red.
News across the globe
China's exports grew 4.9% in April from a year earlier, data showed on Thursday, weaker than a 8.5% increase forecast and down from March's rise of 8.9%. Annual growth of 0.3% in imports last month also missed expectations for an 11% increase.
"Chinese trade data for April came in surprisingly weak, with both export and import growth disappointing ...indicating weakening external demand and suggesting that strengthening of the yuan in the past few years has undermined China's competitiveness," said Dariusz Kowalczyk, senior economist and strategist at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong.
The Australian dollar initially strengthened on strong jobs data, which scaled back expectations for further aggressive monetary easing. But with the currency sensitive to data from China, the biggest export market, the gains were pared by Beijing's fresh trade numbers.
The Aussie last stood up 0.4% at $1.0079, slipping from an earlier high of $1.0120. On Wednesday, it touched $1.0021, its lowest since December 20.
Australian employment far outpaced expectations by adding 15,500 in April while the unemployment rate surprisingly dipped to 4.9%.
Crude slips further
Oil fell as weak Chinese trade data fuelled concerns about demand, sending US crude down 0.4% at $96.38 a barrel and Brent down 0.5% at $112.66 a barrel.
Europe vaccum feared
Global shares slid for a sixth day while safe-haven US and German government debt rose on Wednesday on fears a political vacuum in Greece could put the highly indebted country on course for insolvency and exiting from the euro.
The euro turned around also from an earlier weakness, rising 0.1% at $1.2940. But it hovered near $1.29115 hit on Wednesday, its lowest since January 23, indicating markets remain wary over developments in the euro zone, which have fallen short of convincing investors to be risk-positive.
(With inputs from Reuters and capitaline)
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