Key barometers hovered near the day's low in early afternoon trade. Investors locked profits after the US and China signed a preliminary trade agreement, expectations for which had driven global equities to record highs. Trading was volatile on account of expiry of weekly index options.
At 12:22 IST, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 45.44 points or 0.11% at 41,828.77 The Nifty 50 index was down 16.25 points or 0.13% at 12,327.05.
The broader market continued to outperform the benchmark index. The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index rose 0.58% higher while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index gained 0.59%.
The market breadth was positive. On the BSE, 1304 shares rose and 937 shares fell. A total of 164 shares were unchanged. In Nifty 50 index, 18 stocks advanced while 32 stocks declined.
The NSE's India VIX, a gauge of market's expectation of volatility over the near term, rose 1.18% to 14.2875. The Nifty January 2020 futures were trading at 12,358.80, a premium of 29.6 points compared with the spot at 12,329.20.
On the options front, the Nifty option chain for 30 January 2020 expiry showed maximum call open interest (OI) of 29.40 lakh contracts at the 12,500 strike price. Call writing was witnessed at 12,400 strike price, which added 2.21 lakh contracts.
Maximum put OI of 42.16 lakh contracts was seen at 12,000 strike price. Maximum put writing was seen at 12,300 strike price which added 2.95 lakh contracts. Significant put unwinding was seen at the 12,100 strike price, which shed 1.19 lakh contracts.
The option chain indicates that the Nifty will hover between 12,000 and 12,500 level in January.
Stocks in Spotlight:
Wockhardt jumped 5.77% to Rs 274. Indian drug regulator, DCGI, has approved Wockhardt's 2 new antibiotics, EMROK (IV) and EMROK 0 (Oral), for acute bacterial skin and skin structure Infections including diabetic foot infections and concurrent bacteraemia based on the Phase 3 study involving 500 patients in 40 centres across India. The new drug will target superbug like Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is a leading cause of rising antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The statement was released during market hours today, 16 January 2020.
Shares of Strides Pharma Science were trading 0.21% lower at Rs 388.8. The company announced that it has received a USFDA approval for Loratadine Softgel Capsules. The product is a generic version of Claritin Liqui‐Gels Capsules.
GMR Infrastructure rose 1.04% to Rs 24.20 after the company said it has decided to now divest 49% stake in GMR Airports, against 44.44% planned earlier.
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