Key benchmark indices once again dipped in negative zone in a quiet mid-morning session of trade. At 11:25 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 15.97 points or 0.05% at 29,303.13. The Nifty 50 index was down 3.10 points or 0.03% at 9,102.05.
Domestic stocks struggled for direction in early trade. Key benchmark indices regained positive zone in morning trade soon after hitting intraday low in negative zone in early trade. Key benchmark indices regained positive zone in morning trade.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was positive. On the BSE, 1,362 shares rose and 1,074 shares fell. A total of 130 shares were unchanged.
Most metal and mining stocks were in demand as copper prices rose in global commodity markets. Vedanta (up 1.21%), JSW Steel (up 2.22%), Tata Steel (up 0.63%), Steel Authority of India (Sail) (up 0.03%), Hindustan Zinc (up 0.07%), Hindalco Industries (up 0.27%) and Hindustan Copper (up 0.15%) edged higher. Jindal Steel & Power (down 4%) and NMDC (down 0.55%) edged lower.
Copper edged higher in the global commodities market. High Grade Copper for May 2017 delivery was currently up 0.69% at $2.5465 per pound on the COMEX.
National Aluminium Company (Nalco) dropped 6.47% to Rs 68.70. Bids were received for a total of 7.63 crore shares at an indicative price of Rs 67 per share for the Offer for Sale (OFS) of the company's shares till 11:15 IST, as per data from the stock exchanges.
Nalco's promoter, the Government of India (GoI) is selling up to 9.66 crore equity shares of the company, representing 5% stake with an additional option to sell up to 5% stake in the company in two trading sessions via offer for sale (OFS). The OFS for non-retail investors started today, 19 April 2017 and for retail investors and non-retail investors who choose to carry forward their un-allotted bids, the OFS takes place tomorrow, 20 April 2017. The two-day OFS takes place through a separate, designated window on the stock exchanges.
The floor price for the OFS was fixed at Rs 67 per share. Retail investors will be allocated offer shares at a discount of 5% to the cut off price. The floor price is at a discount of 8.78% compared to the stock's closing price of Rs 73.45 yesterday, 18 April 2017. The GoI held 74.58% stake in Nalco as per the shareholding pattern as on 31 March 2017.
Most capital goods stocks rose. Bharat Electronics (up 4.19%), ABB India (up 0.5%), Bharat Heavy Electricals (Bhel) (up 0.88%), BEML (up 0.18%) and Punj Lloyd (up 2.87%) fell. L&T (down 0.06%), Siemens (down 0.57%) and Thermax (down 0.56%) fell.
Alembic Pharmaceuticals rose 1.89% after the company said it received US drug regulator's tentative approval for Vilazodone Hydrochloride tablets. The announcement was made during trading hours today, 19 April 2017.
Alembic Pharmaceuticals announced that it received tentative approval from the US Food & Drug Administration (USFDA) for its Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) for Vilazodone Hydrochloride tablets, 10mg, 20mg and 40mg. The approved ANDA is therapeutically equivalent to the reference listed drug product (RLD) Viibryd Tablets, 10 mg, 20mg and 40mg, of Forest Labs LLC. Vilazodone Hydrochloride Tablets are indicated for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Alembic is currently in litigation with Forest Labs LLC in District Court of Delaware and has stipulated to stay the case in view of the ongoing settlement discussions.
Vilazodone Hydrochloride tablets have an estimated market size of $340 million for twelve months ending December 2016 according to IMS. Alembic now has a total of 54 ANDA approvals (47 final approvals and 7 tentative approvals) from the USFDA.
VST Industries lost 3.03% after net profit fell 8.5% to Rs 45.10 crore on 15.7% decline in net sales to Rs 227.03 crore in Q4 March 2017 over Q4 March 2016. VST Industries' board recommended a final dividend of Rs 75 per share for FY 2017. The result was announced after market hours yesterday, 18 April 2017.
Meanwhile, India Meteorological Department (IMD) in its first stage forecast of southwest monsoon for 2017, yesterday, 18 April 2017, said that quantitatively, the monsoon seasonal rainfall is likely to be 96% of the long period average (LPA) with an error of 5%. Forecast assessment suggests 38% of probability for near normal monsoon rainfall, it added. IMD will issue the update forecasts in early June 2017, as a part of the second stage long range forecast of monsoon rainfall.
The June-September southwest monsoon is critical for the country's agriculture because a considerable part of the country's farmland is dependent on the rains for irrigation.
Overseas, most Asian stocks were trading lower after British Prime Minister Theresa May's surprise decision to hold early elections. May called for an early general election in June, reversing her earlier stance, in hopes of securing a stronger parliamentary mandate for Britain's formal exit from the European Union. Meanwhile, Theresa May will today, 19 April 2017 ask the House of Commons to support her call for a June general election.
US stocks declined yesterday, 18 April 2017 as investors unloaded stocks following disappointing financial reports from Johnson & Johnson and Goldman Sachs. Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order yesterday, 18 April 2017 titled Buy American, Hire American while on a trip to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he called on federal agencies to overhaul the H-1B visa program. The order addresses to take prompt action to crack down on fraud and abuse within the US immigration system in order to protect workers.
In US economic news, manufacturing output fell in March for the first time since last August, according to a batch of industrial-production data released yesterday, 18 April 2017. Also, a reading on housing starts, which measure the number of new-home construction projects that broke ground during a given month, was slightly weaker than expected in March.
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