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Barometers pare gains; breadth positive

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Domestic shares pared gains in mid-afternoon trade as selling emerged at higher levels. The undertone of the market was still bullish, tracking strength in global stock markets. At 14:29 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 1403.79 points 4.96% at 29,692.02. The Nifty 50 index was surged 384.70 points or 4.66% at 8,648.15.

The broader market advanced. The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was up 3.43% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index was up 3.21%.

The market breadth was positive. On the BSE, 1388 shares rose and 971 shares fell. A total of 146 shares were unchanged. In Nifty 50 index, 46 stocks advanced while 4 stocks declined.


Fitch Ratings on Friday cut India's growth forecast to 5.1% for FY 2020-21, saying the coronavirus outbreak is likely to hit business investment and exports. Fitch had in December 2019 projected India's growth at 5.6% for 2020-21 and 6.5% in the following year.

Fitch said the number of people affected by coronavirus will keep rising in the coming weeks but that the outbreak will remain contained. However, there are downside risks to this scenario.

COVID-19 Crisis:

Coronavirus has infected more than 245,000 people and killed more than 10,000 across the world. More than 88,000 people have recovered.

India has reported 5 deaths and over 195 cases so far. In his address to the nation, PM Narendra Modi called for Janata Curfew on 22 March 2020 and urged people to avoid panic buying.

Four Cities of Maharashtra Locked Down:

In a major decision, Maharashtra government on Friday (20 March) ordered its residents from Mumbai, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and Nagpur to stay at home unless required to make essential trips.

The measure was aimed at containing the rapidly expanding coronavirus outbreak. Banks, grocery stores and medical shops, clinics and hospitals will remain open. Trains and buses will continue to operate.

Stocks in Spotlight:

Shares of food chain operators pared gains after lockdown in four cities of Maharashtra.

Jubilant FoodWorks, the master franchisee of Domino's Pizza in India, was up 3.36% to Rs 1269.30. The scrip rose 10.75% to hit the day's high at Rs 1360.

Westlife Development (WDL) added 5.10% to Rs 300.70. The scrip rose 11.50% to hit the day's high at Rs 319. WDL focuses on establishing and operating McDonald's restaurants across West and South India, through its wholly owned subsidiary Hardcastle Restaurants.

IDFC First Bank fell 1.21% at Rs 20.40. The bank announced in early trade today, 20 March 2020, that it received an intimation from V. Vaidyanathan, managing director and chief executive officer of the bank that he has sold 2,75,58,412 shares on 19 March 2020 for approximately Rs 58 crore to close ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) loan availed by him. The bank said Vaidyanathan intends to sell about Rs 35 crore worth of stocks on Friday, 20 March 2020, to entirely repay the residual ESOP loan taken for exercising his ESOP shares to release his pledged shares.

Apollo Tyres rose 0.06% to Rs 86.25. The Apollo Tyres Leadership Team has announced a voluntary reduction in pay due to the impact of COVID-19 on the automotive industry. The Chairman and Managing Director, Onkar S Kanwar and the Vice Chairman & MD, Neeraj Kanwar announced a 25% reduction in their salary during these tough, testing times. Furthermore, the Senior Management has also taken a voluntary reduction in their salary by 15% in a show of solidarity due to the rapidly deteriorating market conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Numbers to Track:

In the foreign exchange market, the partially convertible rupee edged lower to 74.99 compared with its previous closing of 75.12.

The yield on 10-year benchmark federal paper fell to 6.337% at 14:25 IST compared with 6.410% in the previous trading session.

In the commodities market, Brent crude for May 2020 settlement was up $1.70 to $30.17 a barrel. The contract rose 14.49% or $3.59 to settle at $28.47 a barrel in Wednesday's trading session.

MCX Gold futures for 3 April 2020 settlement rose 2.23% to Rs 40720.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, March 20 2020. 14:33 IST