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Barometers slips into the red; breadth remains strong

Capital Market 

The benchmark indices once again slipped into the negative terrain in afternoon trade, led by weakness in banks and financial shares. At 13:20 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, fell 106.14 points or 0.24% at 44,073.91. The Nifty 50 index declined 13.25 points or 0.10% at 12,925.

HDFC Bank (down 1.98%), ICICI Bank (down 1.72%) and HDFC (down 1.52%) dragged.

The broader market was positive. The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index rose 0.66%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index gained 1.07%.

Buyers outnumbered sellers. On the BSE, 1,584 shares rose and 1,049 shares fell. A total of 179 shares were unchanged. In Nifty 50 index, 30 stocks advanced while 20 stocks declined.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth Rs 3,071.93 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs), were net sellers to the tune of Rs 2,789.85 crore in the Indian equity market on 18 November 2020, provisional data showed.

COVID-19 Update:

Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 5,62,50,764 with 13,49,402 deaths. India reported 4,43,303 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 1,31,578 deaths while 83,83,602 patients have been discharged, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

Pfizer Inc on Wednesday said that final results from the late-stage trial of its COVID-19 vaccine showed it was 95% effective, adding it had the required two-months of safety data and would apply for emergency US authorization within days.

The drug maker further added that the efficacy of the vaccine, developed with German partner BioNTech SE, was consistent across age and ethnicity demographics, and that there were no major side effects, a sign that the immunization could be employed broadly around the world.

Gainers & Losers:

PowerGrid Corporation of India (up 5.34%), Bajaj Finserv (up 4.34%), Titan Company (up 4.13%), NTPC (up 3.57%) and ITC (up 3.18%) were major gainers in Nifty 50 index.

State Bank of India (down 2.54%), Ultratech Cement (down 1.56%) and JSW Steel (down 1.53%) were major losers in Nifty 50 index.

Stocks in Spotlight:

Hero MotoCorp rose 1.50% after the two-wheel manufacturer sold more than 14 lakh units of motorcycles and scooters, in retail sales during the just concluded festive season riding on robust customer demand for its range of products.

Despite the severe disruptions on account of the COVID-19 this year, the good retail offtake during the 32-day festival period - spread between the first day of Navratra and the concluding day after Bhai Duj - was 98% of the festive season volumes sold by the company in the previous year (2019) and 103% compared to the same period in 2018, Hero MotoCorp said.

It major TCS rose 0.42% after the company's board fixed 28 November 2020 as the record date for share buyback.

On 7 October 2020, the board of TCS had approved a proposal to buyback up to 5.33 crore equity shares of the company for an aggregate amount not exceeding Rs 16,000 crore, being 1.42% of the total paid-up equity share capital, at Rs 3,000 per equity share. TCS said buyback is proposed to be made from the shareholders of the company on a proportionate basis under the tender offer route using the stock exchange mechanism.

Global Markets:

European stocks open lower on Thursday as a rally prompted by positive vaccine news starts to lose momentum amid renewed fears of shutdowns as a result of rising coronavirus cases. Asian markets traded mixed as rising global coronavirus cases weighed on investor sentiment.

US stocks finished at session lows Wednesday, after New York City officials said its public school system would close in a bid to contain rising COVID-19 cases, adding another blow to the city's recovery. The worsening pandemic that brought on new restrictions overshadowed positive developments on the coronavirus vaccine front.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 1.15%, the S&P 500 lost 1.2% and the Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.8%. All three indexes were initially trading positive in early action.

Enthusiasm around additional progress on the COVID-19 vaccine front faded in afternoon trade, after New York City officials said its public school system, the nation's largest, will close to contain the virus.

Pfizer Inc. said on Wednesday that the vaccine candidate it has developed with BioNTech SE was 95% effective in a final analysis of clinical trial data. Pfizer plans to seek authorization for the vaccine within days, the companies said.

The vaccine news initially helped to lift stocks, but support waned as repercussions of the continuing surge in COVID-19 cases took center stage.

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

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First Published: Thu, November 19 2020. 13:27 IST