NSE Nifty was up by 0.08 per cent or 17.95 points at 21,969.10, while the BSE Sensex was at 72,466, up by 0.23 per cent or 161.61 points.

A total of 2,974 stocks were actively traded, 1,138 advanced, while 1,733 declined and 103 stocks remained unchanged, where 65 stocks hit a 52-week high and 29 stocks hit a 52-week low at 9.30 am on Wednesday.

Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities, said, “All three major US stock indexes finished lower on Wednesday, with investors focused on the possibility of a hot inflation reading Thursday morning before the bell. US stocks closed slightly lower on Wednesday, a day ahead of a key inflation reading that could heavily influence expectations for the timing of an interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve. The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, is expected to show prices ticked 0.3% higher on a monthly basis in January. The growth rate of the US economy in the fourth quarter was downgraded slightly to a 3.2% annual pace, but the economy is still expanding at a rapid clip and showing few signs of slowing down.

Originally the government said gross domestic product had expanded at a 3.3% rate in the final three months of 2023. The US economy had considerable momentum in the second half of 2023, led by consumer spending.

NSE announced Shriram Finance will make its entrance to the Nifty 50, replacing UPL from the index. The changes will come into place on March 28, 2024. Additionally, Jio Financial Services will enter the Nifty Next 50. India’s economic growth probably slipped below 7% for the first time in the current fiscal year in the October-December period, hit by a tepid manufacturing sector and weakness in consumption.”

Vikas Jain, Senior Research Analyst at Reliance Securities, said, “Expect the market to open on a flat to positive note ahead of global economy data to be released today - US Inflation data (personal spending), US Fed officials’ commentary on the timing of the first interest-rate cut, Euro zone inflation data (both Germany and France), domestic Q4 GDP data and Feb Series F&O expiry.

Overnight, the US market declined up to 0.5% ahead of key inflation data to be released today that could heavily shape expectations for the timing of an interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve. However, the US Q4 GDP number reported almost inline with expectations at 3.2% (expectation at 3.3%), but consumer spending advanced at a 3% rate, faster than initially estimated at 2.7%. As a result, the US 10-Year bond yield declined by 4bps to close at 4.26%. Gift Nifty is up 35 points or 0.3%. Yesterday, the Nifty declined over 1% to close below 22000 on account of profit-booking. However, Nifty auto, metal, realty, financial, and oil & gas index declined by 2%.

SEBI has asked trustees of mutual funds to establish a framework aimed at safeguarding interests of investors in small and midcap schemes – according to a media report. Traders buy on strong fundamental stocks and avoid highly speculative counters. Expect a range-bound market ahead of important domestic and global economy data to be released today. Auto stocks will be focused ahead of February auto monthly sales data to be announced tomorrow. Short-covering may not be ruled out in the later part of the day, ahead of the February series F&O expiry today.

Major gainers on the NSE at 9.30 am include Reliance (1.26%), Hero Motocorp (0.92%), Maruti (0.89%), SBI (0.54%), Adani Ports (0.52%)

Major losers include Cipla (-1.33%), Bajaj Auto (-1.23%), UPL (-0.99%), BPCL (-0.87%), Apollo Hospitals (-0.82%)

BSE smallcap was down by 0.15 per cent and Midcap down by 0.039 per cent