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Indices turn rangebound; pharma stocks advance

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The benchmark indices traded in a narrow range in early afternoon trade. At 12:24 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 208.11 points or 0.69% at 30,404.28. The Nifty 50 index added 67.75 points or 0.76% at 8,946.85.

In the broader market, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index rose 0.79% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index advanced 0.52%.

Buyers outpaced the sellers. On the BSE, 1002 shares rose and 969 shares fell. A total of 134 shares were unchanged. In the Nifty 50 index, 36 shares advanced while 14 shares declined.

Sentiment got a boost after the country's finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman reportedly said the government remains open to more economic measures as and when needed.

Sitharaman on Sunday (17 May) announced the fifth and final tranche of economic stimulus package to deal with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. The booster measures announced on Sunday related to MGNREGS, healthcare and education, businesses, de-criminalisation of the Companies Act, ease of doing business, public sector enterprises, and resources related to state governments.


The NSE's India VIX, a gauge of market's expectation of volatility over the near term, fell 6.60% to 36.8475. The Nifty April 2020 futures were trading at 8,946, a discount of 0.85 points compared with the spot at 8,946.85.

On the options front, the Nifty option chain for 28 May 2020 expiry showed maximum call open interest (OI) of 23.39 lakh contracts at the 10,000 strike price. Maximum put OI of 22.85 lakh contracts was seen at 9,000 strike price.

Buzzing Index:

The Nifty Pharma index rose 1.34% to 9,206.50 after falling marginally in the past three sessions. The index rose 13.44% in the past three months while the benchmark Nifty 50 index has lost 24.36% during the same period.

Strides Pharma Science (up 3.64%), Lupin (up 2.63%), Cipla (up 2.54%), Aurobindo Pharma (up 2.24%), Piramal Enterprises (up 2.05%), Wockhardt (up 1.55%), Divi's Laboratories (up 1.01%), Alkem Laboratories (up 0.91%), Cadila Healthcare (up 0.91%), Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (up 0.75%), Glenmark Pharmaceuticals (up 0.59%) and IPCA Laboratories (up 0.22%) advanced.

Abbott India (down 0.81%) and GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals (down 0.27%) declined.

Dr. Reddy's Laboratories rose 0.71% to Rs 3725.7 after the company said its formulations manufacturing plant - 3 at Bachupally in Hyderabad received the establishment inspection report (EIR) from US drug regulator. The drug maker will announce Q4 results today, 20 May 2020.

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

First Published: Wed, May 20 2020. 12:26 IST