Key benchmark indices alternately swung between positive and negative zone in mid-morning trade. At 11:30 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 13.76 points or 0.04% at 31,142.15. The Nifty 50 index was down 14 points or 0.15% at 9,604.15. Pharma shares were in demand on renewed buying. Cement stocks rose.
Domestic stocks drifted lower in early trade tracking negative Asian stocks. However, stocks recovered in morning trade.
Overseas, Asian shares were trading lower as risk sentiment was hit by fear of more US political turmoil after media report indicated that US President Donald Trump is being investigated by a special counsel for possible obstruction of justice. Investigators are investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. Trump's legal team denounced the report.
In US, the Dow industrials closed at a record for a second straight session yesterday, 14 June 2017 but other benchmarks finished lower as the Federal Reserve hiked the fed-funds futures rate.
The Federal Reserve hiked the fed-funds rate by a quarter-point to between 1% and 1.25% as expected after its two-day policy meeting yesterday, 14 June 2017 and indicated that it would reduce its $4.5 trillion balance sheet this year. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the process could start relatively soon, while projections of Federal Reserve Board members also showed they expect one more rate hike by the end of year.
Back home, pharma shares were in demand on renewed buying. Wockhardt (up 3.99%), Cipla (up 1.3%), Dr Reddy's Laboratories (up 1.65%), Glenmark Pharmaceuticals (up 1.62%), Lupin (up 1.02%), Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (up 1.62%) and Alkem Laboratories (up 1.08%) gained. GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals (down 0.58%) fell.
Aurobindo Pharma jumped 6.52% after the company received the final approval from the US FDA for the generic version of Genzyme's Renvela medication. The announcement was made during trading hours today, 15 June 2017.
Cadila Healthcare rose 1.73% after the company said it received final approval from the US drug regulator for Acyclovir for injection USP. The announcement was made during trading hours today, 15 June 2017.
Cadila Healthcare said it received the final approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) to market Acyclovir for injection USP in strengths of 500 mg/vial and 1000 mg/vial. Acyclovir for Injection USP, which caters to the anti-viral segment, will be produced at the group's formulations manufacturing facility at Moraiya, Ahmedabad.
Grasim Industries was up 0.27%. Grasim has exposure to the cement sector through its holding in UltraTech Cement.
Shipping Corporation of India rose 8.7% on reports NITI Aayog has proposed strategic sale of about 26% stake in the company. According to reports, the core group of secretaries on disinvestment, headed by the cabinet secretary, discussed the proposal and has mandated the Shipping Ministry to find out legal hassles, if any, in the process. The proposal will soon go to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, reports added.
The government, at present, holds 63.75% stake in Navratna PSU Shipping Corporation of India (SCI). After the sale of 26% stake, the government holding in the company will come down to 37.75%. The sale of 26% stake could fetch about Rs 960 crore to the exchequer. The government has budgeted to raise Rs 15000 crore through strategic sale of PSUs this fiscal.
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