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Benchmarks extend gains; breadth positive

Capital Market 

The benchmark indices extended gains in mid-morning trade. At 11:23 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 207.92 points or 0.52% at 39,936.33. The Nifty 50 index added 67.50 points or 0.58% at 11,747.85.

In the broader market, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index rose 0.77% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index added 0.41%.

The market breadth was positive. On the BSE, 1217 shares rose and 993 shares fell. A total of 158 shares were unchanged.

Coronavirus Update:

India reported 804,528 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 112,161 deaths while 6,453,779 patients have been discharged, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 38,851,358 with 1,097,278 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Economy:

The Central government will borrow up to Rs 1.1 lakh crore on behalf of the states to bridge the shortfall in GST collections, the Finance Ministry said on Thursday.

In a statement, the Union Finance Ministry said states were offered a special window to borrow Rs 1.1 lakh crore over and above their existing limits, to bridge the shortfall. "The amount so borrowed will be passed on to the states as a back-to-back loan in lieu of GST compensation cess releases," the ministry said.

"Under the Special Window, the estimated shortfall of Rs 1.1 lakh crore (assuming all States join) will be borrowed by Government of India in appropriate tranches," the statement said.

The Centre borrowing on behalf of states is likely to ensure that a single rate of borrowing is charged and this would also be easy to administer. The borrowing, the statement said, "will not have any impact on the fiscal deficit of the Government of India."

"The amounts will be reflected as the capital receipts of the State Governments and as part of the financing of its respective fiscal deficits," it said.

Credit rating agency Moody's Investors Service reportedly said on Thursday that India's fiscal position "remains very weak". The government's latest fiscal measures, it said, will have a minimal impact on the country's growth prospects and that the government's 'small scale' package is actually a credit negative as it reflects the country's 'limited budgetary firepower to support the economy'.

Moody's expects India's GDP to drop 11.5% in 2020-21, so the 0.5% of GDP gain expected by the government from these stimulus measures will provide only 'a small boost', it added.

Stocks in Spotlight:

UPL slumped 4.75% to Rs 482.40 after KPMG resigned as the auditor with effect from 8 October 2020 for the company's material arm in Mauritius, UPL Corporation. In order to re-organize the audit process to improve productivity, at the request of the company, KPMG Mauritius has resigned as statutory auditors of UPL Corporation, Mauritius. "There are no circumstances connected with our resignation which we consider should be brought to the notice of the members," KPMG said in a statement.

Astrazeneca Pharma India added 0.71% to Rs 4,279. The drug maker on Thursday said it will launch its Acalabrutinib 100 mg capsules, used for treatment of various types of blood cancers, under the brand name Calquence in India on 21 October.

CreditAccess Grameen was up 0.04% to Rs 678.60. The company said that it will issue of 1,000 rated, listed, senior, secured, redeemable, taxable, non-convertible debentures of face value of Rs 10 lakh each, aggregating up to Rs 100 crore on a private placement basis. The coupon rate is 9.15% per annum with tenure fixed at 18 months and a maturity date of 20 April 2022.

Global Markets:

Shares in Asia were mixed on Friday as coronavirus fears surge again. Meanwhile, the US dollar strengthened as uncertainty rose with investors flocking to the haven currency.

The US stock market finished session in negative territory on Thursday as the rise in weekly jobless claims compounded worries about a stalling economic recovery.

Meanwhile, sentiments also dampened amid uncertainty about a new stimulus bill after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested on Wednesday that a new relief package is not likely to pass before next month's elections.

In economic news, the pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity jumped to 32.3 in October from 15.0 in September, a report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia on Thursday showed. With the much bigger than expected increase, the Philly Fed Index spiked to its highest level since before the coronavirus- lockdowns. The sharp increase by the headline index came as the new orders index soared to 42.6 in October from 25.5 in September and the shipments index surged up to 46.5 from 36.6.

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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: Fri, October 16 2020. 11:25 IST
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