Indian equity benchmarks gave up most of the day's gains to end mildly higher on Thursday, as global equities took a breather after recent gains ahead of the US central bank chief's speech. It was the fifth straight session of gains for the key indices. Markets showcased a strong opening, as traders took some encouragement with Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan’s statement that the department of commerce is proactively engaging with state governments to promote exports. He also requested state governments to extend their support to take forward the initiatives to boost country's outbound shipments. Traders also took note of report that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will rationalise regulations for overseas direct investment (ODI) in order to make them simpler and more principles-based.
On the global front, Asian markets ended mostly down on Thursday, while European markets were trading in red as geopolitical concerns returned to the fore and investors waited for Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's speech at the annual central bankers' conference later in the day for clues about whether a shift to easier policy is possible in coming months. Back home, on the sectoral front, there was some reaction in tobacco industry related stocks as a parliamentary panel recommended permitting regulated foreign direct investment in the tobacco sector and establishing export-only tobacco farms to boost outward shipments. Besides, shares of real estate companies were buzzing after the Maharashtra government decided to temporarily reduce stamp duty on housing units from 5 percent to 2 percent until Market Turnover & FII Derivative Data December 31, 2020, to boost the stagnant real estate market hit by COVID-19