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Benchmarks trade sideways; India VIX slumps below 20

Capital Market 

Equity indices traded sideways with modest gains in early afternoon trade. The Nifty held firm above 11,400 mark. Buying was broad based with PSU banks, realty and financial services stocks in demand.

At 12:28 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 158.62 points or 0.41% at 38,686.06. The Nifty 50 index gained 42.5 points or 0.38% at 11,427.35.

In the broader market, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was up 0.88% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index was up 1.1%.

Buyers outpaced sellers. On the BSE, 1698 shares rose and 879 shares fell. A total of 130 shares were unchanged.


The NSE's India VIX, a gauge of market's expectation of volatility over the near term, fell 2.39% to 19.94. The Nifty August 2020 futures were trading at 11,430, at a premium of 1.5 points compared with the spot at 11,428.50.

The Nifty weekly option chain for 20 August 2020 expiry showed maximum Call OI 37.66 lakh contracts at the 11,500 strike price. Maximum Put OI of 37.53 lakh contracts was seen at 11,300 strike price.

The Nifty option chain for 27 August 2020 expiry showed maximum Call OI of 23.49 lakh contracts at the 11,500 strike price. Maximum Put OI of 37.82 lakh contracts was seen at 11,000 strike price.

Investors are awaiting minutes from the US Federal Reserve's recent meeting due on Wednesday which may provide some insight into how the central bank sees the recovery playing out. The Fed has cut rates to near zero to bolster business through the pandemic.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth Rs 1,134.57 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs), were net sellers to the tune of Rs 379.38 crore in the Indian equity market on 18 August, provisional data showed.

COVID-19 Update:

Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 22,059,933 with 7,79,557 deaths. India reported 6,76,514 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 52,889 deaths while 20,37,870 patients have been discharged, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

Stocks in Spotlight:

ICICI Bank was up 0.92%. The media reported that the People's Bank of China (PBOC) could have acquired a very small stake in ICICI Bank by investing Rs 15 crore through the recently closed Rs 15,000-crore qualified institutional placement (QIP) of shares of the private bank. The Chinese central bank was reportedly among the 357 institutional investors that subscribed to the issue. Based on the bank's current market capitalization of Rs 2.57 lakh crore, the investment by PBOC translates into a 0.0058% stake in ICICI Bank.

The Phoenix Mills declined 1.03%. The realty major informed that its board approved opening the qualified institutional placement (QIP) issue on Tuesday (18 August 2020). The company has set the floor price at Rs 611.31 per share for its qualified institutional placement (QIP) issue. The company's capital raising committee is scheduled to meet on Friday, 21 August 2020, to consider and approve the issue price of the equity shares to be allotted to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to the QIP issue.

IRB Infrastructure Developers soared 12.83% to Rs 134.10 after the company on Tuesday (18 August) said it received unanimous arbitral award of Rs 73.86 crore for one of its earlier projects in Punjab.

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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: Wed, August 19 2020. 12:29 IST