Indian equity benchmarks were trading higher in the afternoon session on Wednesday. Early trade gains were lost again following negative cues from peer Asian markets along with selling in IT and TECK shares. However, overall sentiments were positive, as the Government of India is taking bigger policy initiatives for Agriculture Startups with the announcement of a Rs 500 crore accelerator programme and the creation of a high-level steering committee. Some boost in sentiments came along with a private report stating that freshers’ hiring intentions have increased to 61% for the July-December 2022 period as employers across India are looking to hire due to the accelerated rate of tech and digital advancements.

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The Sensex was trading at 59,048.03, up by 87.43  points or 0.15% after trading in a range of 59,399.69 and 59,018.27. On the index, only 12 stocks were advancing and 18 were declining.

The broader indices were mostly trading in green with the BSE Midcap index down by 0.04% and the Small-cap index up by 0.01%.

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The top gaining sectoral indices on the BSE were Energy up by 0.79%, Oil & Gas up by 0.62%, FMCG up by 0.36%, Consumer Durables up by 0.13%, Commodities up by 0.1%, while Utilities down by 1.11%, Power down by 0.93%, IT down by 0.83%, TECK down by 0.73%, Metal down by 0.49% were the top losing sectoral indices on the BSE.

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The top gainers on the Sensex were HDFC by 2.17%, Reliance Industries by 2.08%, ITC by 1.48%, Nestle by 1.44% and Axis Bank by 1.36%. On the flip side, SBI by 1.50%,  Bajaj Finserv by 1.14%, HCL Technologies by 1.09%, ICICI Bank by 1.08%, and Infosys by 0.98%, were the top losers on the index.

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The Nifty was trading at 17,518.15   up by 31.20  points or 0.18% after trading in a range of 17,607.60 and 17,512.40. On the index, 19 stocks were advancing, against 30 stocks declining, while 1 stock was stable.

The top gainers on Nifty were HDFC up by 2.03%,  Reliance Industries up by 2.00%, Nestle up by 1.92%, ITC up by 1.60% and Bajaj Auto Limited up by 1.25%. While SBI by 1.79%,  Bajaj Finserv by 1.35%,  JSW Steel by 1.27%, Coal India by 1.20 and ICICI Bank by 0.14% were the top losers on the index.

Asian markets were trading mixed, Hang Sang rose 1.88%, Shanghai Composite fell 1.06%, KOSPI Composite fell 0.56%, and Nikkei 225 rose 0.37%.