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Broader market trades firm; pharma stocks in demand

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The market barometers traded sideways in mid-morning trade. At 11:22 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 20.20 points or 0.05% at 40,336.49. The Nifty 50 index was up 4.85 points or 0.04% at 11,900.30.

In the broader market, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was up 0.41%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index was up 0.25%. Both these indices outperformed the Sensex.

The market breadth was positive. On the BSE, 1086 shares rose and 1059 shares fell. A total of 160 shares were unchanged. In Nifty 50 index, 29 stocks advanced while 21 stocks declined.

Buzzing Index:

The Nifty Pharma index rose 1.81% to 7,860.70, extending gains for second straight session.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals (up 15.84%), Wockhardt (up 10.11%), Aurobindo Pharma (up 4.16%), Cadila Healthcare (up 3.2%), Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (up 3.13%), Lupin (up 1.56%), Cipla (up 1.48%), Strides Shasun (up 0.98%), Dr Reddy's Laboratories (up 0.86%), Alkem Laboratories (up 0.84%), IPCA Laboratories (up 0.44%) and Piramal Enterprises (up 0.41%) advanced.

Divi's Laboratories (down 0.69%) and GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals (down 0.42%) declined.

Stocks in Spotlight:

Aster DM Healthcare rose 4.31% to Rs 155. Media reports suggested that the company is planning to make a foray into the diagnostics segment in order to scale up business in the country. The Kochi-based firm, which has a sizeable presence across GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) states, plans to have around 40 standalone diagnostics laboratories in India over the next two years with the aim to invest around Rs 40 crore on the initiative and the first two outlets expected to come up in Bengaluru in the fourth quarter, the reports added.

Sterling and Wilson Solar was locked in 20% lower circuit at Rs 321. The company said there is complete misrepresentation of facts and there is absolutely no reduction sought in the inter company loan by the promoters from the company as mentioned in various media coverages.

The promoters were scheduled to pay Rs 2,563 crore to Sterling and Wilson Solar by 18 November. Of this, Rs 2,335 crore was the principal and the remaining was interest. The promoters had repaid Rs 250 crore and wrote to Sterling and Wilson's board on 14 November seeking a revised repayment schedule citing 'significant and rapid deterioration in credit markets.'

In a filing, the company had said that the promoters of the company has requested board of directors to consider a revised repayment schedule for the balance outstanding amount, which was reduced to Rs 2,341 crore, as on September 30, due to the significant and rapid deterioration in the credit markets creating a significant liquidity crisis, all of which was unforeseeable and coupled with the lesser than expected realisation from the IPO.

The amount realised from the IPO was Rs 2,850 crore before expenses and taxes compared with Rs 4,500 crore as initially contemplated, the company said.

Shares of SW Solar have fallen 42.68% in six trading sessions to its current market price from a recent closing high of Rs 560.10 on 7 November 2019.

Tata Steel rose 2.35% to Rs 406.65. The steel maker's long-term rating has been reportedly affirmed by S&P at 'BB-'. The outlook has been revised to 'stable' from 'positive'. The company, in an exchange filing post trading hours on Friday, informed about the completion of stake sale in NatSteel Vina Co (NSV). NatSteel Holdings (NSH), a step-down subsidiary of Tata Steel, signed an agreement with the Vietnam-based Thai Hung Trading joint stock company to divest its entire equity stake held in NSV (56.5%).

Foreign Markets:

Stocks in Asia were mostly higher Monday afternoon as investors look for further developments on U.S.-China trade.

The US stock market finished session at fresh record highs on Friday on revived hopes for a US-China trade deal after White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow statement that the US and China were getting closer to reaching a resolution.

Kudlow's comments could ease market concerns that flared again early this week amid reports that the trade talks had hit a snag over how and when to reduce tariffs, and what level of agricultural purchases could be expected from China.

Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said on Thursday that both countries are holding deep discussions about a "phase one" deal, but noted that the rolling back of some tariffs is key to reaching an agreement.

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

First Published: Mon, November 18 2019. 11:24 IST