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Indices snap 2-day streak; IT shares extend recent gains

Capital Market 

Key equity indices snapped a two-day rising streak on Thursday. As per provisional closing data, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex lost 323 points or 0.82% at 3,979.15. The Nifty 50 index fell 85.3 points or 0.74% at 11,519.75.

Global shares were negative after the US Federal Reserve indicated its benchmark interest rate will stay close to zero at least through 2023 but announced no additional stimulus plans.

The broader corrected after rising for three sessions. The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index fell 0.24% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index slipped 0.51%.

Buyers outpaced sellers. On the BSE, 1154 shares rose and 1571 shares fell. A total of 171 shares were unchanged.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth Rs 264.66 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs), were net sellers to the tune of Rs 212.21 crore in the Indian equity market on 16 September, provisional data showed.

COVID-19 Update:

Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 29,763,811 with 9,39,456 deaths. India reported 10,09,976 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 83,198 deaths while 40,25,079 patients have been discharged, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

The government said that the country's recovery rate among the COVID-19 patients has reached to 78.64%. During the last 24 hours, more than 82 thousand COVID patients have been recovered.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan on Thursday expressed hope that COVID-19 vaccine would be available in the country by early next year. He informed that three vaccine candidates have reached the clinical trial stage of Phase one, two and three.


India's commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said the government is working on setting up a single window system for clearances and approvals of industry. In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Goyal said the cell is being planned as a one-stop digital platform to obtain all requisite central and state clearances and approvals to start business operations in the country. Goyal said the investment clearance cell will be a national portal that integrates the existing clearance systems of various ministries and departments of the government and of states without disrupting the existing IT portals of ministries.

Meanwhile, Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020. The Bill proposes amendments to the Banking Regulation Act, 1949. With this new Bill, the central government aims to bring cooperative banks under the supervision of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

New Listing:

Shares of Happiest Minds Technologies were trading at Rs 387.70 at 13:14 IST on BSE, a premium of 133.55% over the initial public offer price of Rs 166.

The stock debuted at Rs 351, a premium of 111.45% to the initial public offer (IPO) price. So far the stock hit a high of Rs 395 and low of Rs 351. On BSE, so far 89.03 lakh shares were traded on the counter so far.

The IPO of Happiest Minds Technologies received bids for 351.18 crore shares as against 2.32 crore shares on offer. The issue was subscribed 150.98 times. The issue was open between 7th and 9th September 2020. The price band for the IPO was set at Rs 165-166 per share.

Buzzing Index:

The Nifty IT index gained 0.41% to 19,852.35. The index has surged 8.7% in six days.

Mphasis (up 3.91%), Coforge (up 3.83%), HCL Tech (up 2.52%), Larsen & Toubro Infotech (up 1.76%), Infosys (up 1.32%) and Mindtree (up 1.1%) were top gainers in IT segment.

Stocks in Spotlight:

Dr Reddy Laboratories was up 3.96% after the drug major announced the launch of over-the-counter Olopatadine Hydrochloride Ophthalmic Solution in the US market.

The solution is indicated for the temporary relief of itchy eyes due to pollen, ragweed, grass, animal hair and dander. It is also indicated for the temporary relief of red eyes. The Pataday brand had US sales of approximately $31 million since the launch in March 2020 according to IRi.

Larsen & Toubro fell 1.75%. L&T on Thursday said its metallurgical and material handling arm secured a 'significant' order from Northern Coalfields, a subsidiary of Coal India (CIL). The order is for a coal processing and load out package to be installed at the Dudhichua Mines located in Uttar Pradesh. The scope of work involves EPC for a double stream coal sizing & transportation system covering semi mobile sizing system, high capacity specialty conveyors, and an automated loading system. According to L&T's classification, the valuation of the 'significant' lies between Rs 1,000 crore to Rs 2,500 crore.

Ashok Leyland slipped 0.7%. The company on Thursday said it received a large order from a logistics start-up company, Procure Box. The start-up has placed an order of 1400 intermediate commercial vehicles for its fuel distribution business across 750 districts, in the country. The order encompasses the Ashok Leyland product - the Ecomet - and will be executed in the next 5-6 months.

IRCON International rose 4.2% after the company said it secured orders worth about Rs 1900 crore for railway electrification works from the Ministry of Railways, Government of India. The tenure for execution of the projects varies from 15 to 20 months from the date of signing of agreement with the zonal railways.

Global Markets:

The US Dow Jones futures were down 253 points, indicating a weak opening in the US stocks later today.

Shares in Europe and Asia declined on Thursday as investors react to overnight developments from the U. S. Federal Reserve.

However, Singapore's STI Index rose 1.98% today. Growth in Singapore's non-oil domestic exports (Nodx) reportedly picked up last month, with shipments increasing 7.7% year on year, mainly driven by non-electronic goods, according to data from Enterprise Singapore (ESG) released on 17 September 2020. Month on month and seasonally adjusted, Nodx in August rose 15.6%, higher than the 14.1% gain in July.

The Bank of Japan and the Bank of England will announce their respective policy decisions on Thursday.

In US, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite ended lower on Wednesday, reversing gains late in the day as losses in technology shares outweighed a Federal Reserve statement that stoked optimism it would keep U. S. interest rates near zero for a prolonged period. The Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out a small gain.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 36.78 points, or 0.13%, to 28,032.38, the S&P 500 lost 15.71 points, or 0.46%, to 3,385.49 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 139.86 points, or 1.25%, to 11,050.47.

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday vowed to keep interest rates near zero until inflation is on track to overshoot the U. S. central bank's 2% target. The new economic projections showed policymakers now see the economy shrinking 3.7% this year, far less than the 6.5% decline they forecast in June. They see unemployment, which registered 8.4% in August, dropping to 7.6% by the end of the year. The recovery is here, and it's well along, Powell said.

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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, September 17 2020. 15:29 IST