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Key indices register modest gains

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Trading for the week began on a positive note as gains in index heavyweights ITC and Infosys along with gains for metal stocks took key benchmark indices higher. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rose 216.68 points or 0.85% to settle at 25,735.90. The gains for the 50-unit Nifty 50 index were higher in percentage terms than those for the Sensex. The Nifty rose 72.50 points or 0.93% to settle at 7,834.45. Bank stocks edged higher after the government tabled the bankruptcy bill in Lok Sabha for its discussion and passage.

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries edged lower in choppy trade after the company received a warning letter from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for its facility located at Halol in Gujarat. Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) edged higher on reports that the company is developing petrol engines for its existing vehicles after the Supreme Court temporarily banned the sale of large diesel cars in Delhi.

In overseas equity markets, European stocks edged higher and trading in US index futures pointed to a recovery for US stocks after a sharp slide during the previous trading session triggered by fears that collapsing oil prices might impact banks with exposure to highly-leveraged energy companies. Trading in US index futures indicated that the Dow Jones Industrial Average could gain 132 points at the opening bell today, 21 December 2015. Earlier during the global day, Asian stocks witnessed a mixed trend.

The Sensex rose 216.68 points or 0.85% to settle at 25,735.90, its highest closing level since 17 December 2015. The index rose 238.62 points or 0.93% at the day's high of 25,757.84. The index fell 105.68 points or 0.41% at the day's low of 25,413.54.

The Nifty rose 72.50 points or 0.93% to settle at 7,834.45, its highest closing level since 17 December 2015. The index rose 78.80 points or 1.01% at the day's high of 7,840.75. The index fell 28.50 points or 0.36% at the day's low of 7,733.45.

The BSE Mid-Cap index rose 0.64%. The BSE Small-Cap index rose 0.82%. Both these indices underperformed the Sensex.

The broad market depicted strength. There were almost two gainers for every loser on BSE. 1,792 shares rose and 909 shares fell. A total of 208 shares were unchanged.

Among the sectoral indices on BSE, the S&P BSE Metal index (up 1.47%), the S&P BSE Bankex (up 1.43%), the S&P BSE Realty index (up 1.38%), the S&P BSE Utilities index (up 1.29%), the S&P BSE FMCG index (up 1.26%), the S&P BSE Finance index (up 1.12%), the S&P BSE Power index (up 1.11%), the S&P BSE IT index (up 0.94%), the S&P BSE Teck index (up 0.94%), the S&P BSE Oil & Gas index (up 0.88%) and the S&P BSE Auto index (up 0.85%), outperformed the Sensex. The S&P BSE Telecom index (up 0.81%), the S&P BSE Basic Materials index (up 0.78%), the S&P BSE Energy index (up 0.68%), the S&P BSE Consumer Discretionary Goods & Services index (up 0.62%), the S&P BSE Industrials index (up 0.51%), the S&P BSE Capital Goods index (up 0.37%), the S&P BSE Healthcare index (down 0.52%) and the S&P BSE Consumer Durables index (down 0.64%) underperformed the Sensex.

Metal and mining stocks gained on renewed buying. National Aluminium Company (up 5.75%), Steel Authority of India (up 2.11%), Hindustan Zinc (up 1.85%), JSW Steel (up 1.60%), Hindustan Copper (up 1.45%), NMDC (up 1.27%), Bhushan Steel (up 1.25%), Tata Steel (up 1.25%) and Jindal Steel & Power (up 0.77%) edged higher.

Vedanta rose 2.61%. Hindalco Industries gained 1.63%. Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) rose 0.19%. Asian Paints fell 0.66%. APSEZ and Asian Paints replaced Vedanta and Hindalco Industries in Sensex with effect from today, 21 December 2015.

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (Sun Pharma) dropped 4.55% to Rs 754.45 after the company announced on Saturday, 19 December 2015, that it has received a warning letter from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) as a result of the September 2014 inspection for its facility located at Halol in Gujarat. The stock hit a high of Rs 757 and a low of Rs 732 in intraday trade. Sun Pharma said it has responded to the USFDA inspection observations with a robust remediation process that is still on-going, with significant investments in automation and training to enhance its quality systems. Sun Pharma has been working with external consultants to ensure its remediation activities have been completed in an appropriate manner, the company said in a statement. Post September 2014 inspection, the USFDA has withheld future product approvals from the Halol facility. This situation may continue until all issues are resolved, Sun Pharma said. The company expects to request a re-inspection by USFDA upon completion of its remediation commitments. Sun Pharma and the Halol facility will continue to supply important drug products to meet its obligations to its customers and the patients who use its drugs in the United States and around the world, the company said. Sun Pharma will respond to this warning letter with a detailed plan within the stipulated time frame, the company said in a statement.

IT stocks were mixed. Hexaware Technologies (up 1.41%), TCS (up 1.01%), HCL Technologies (up 0.92%), Wipro (up 0.30%) and Oracle Financial Services Software (up 0.21%), edged higher. Persistent Systems (down 0.01%), Tech Mahindra (down 0.37%), MindTree (down 1%) and MphasiS (down 1.21%) edged lower.

Index heavyweight and IT major Infosys rose 1.48% to Rs 1,102. The stock hit a high of Rs 1,104.75 and a low of Rs 1,070.90 in intraday trade.

State-run ONGC rose 3.16% to Rs 230.30. The stock hit a high of Rs 230.90 and a low of Rs 221.95 in intraday trade.

Index heavyweight and cigarette major ITC advanced 2.68% to Rs 325.75. The stock hit a high of Rs 326.60 and low of Rs 316.50 in intraday trade.

Bank stocks edged higher after the government today, 21 December 2015, introduced the bankruptcy bill in Lok Sabha for its discussion and passage. Among private bank stocks, ICICI Bank (up 3.24%), Federal Bank (up 2.18%), Axis Bank (up 2.09%), City Union Bank (up 1.82%), IndusInd Bank (up 1.39%), HDFC Bank (up 0.18%), Kotak Mahindra Bank (up 0.15%) and Yes Bank (up 0.13%) edged higher.

Among PSU bank stocks, Punjab and Sind Bank (up 2.46%), IDBI Bank (up 2.13%), Union Bank of India (up 1.87%), State Bank of India (up 1.63%), Indian Bank (up 1.37%), Allahabad Bank (up 1.14%), UCO Bank (up 0.78%), United Bank of India (up 0.67%), Central Bank of India (up 0.65%), Andhra Bank (up 0.62%), Canara Bank (up 0.54%), Punjab National Bank (up 0.49%), Bank of Maharashtra (up 0.47%), Syndicate Bank (up 0.46%), Bank of India (up 0.43%), Corporation Bank (up 0.37%), Bank of Baroda (up 0.16%) and Vijaya Bank (up 0.15%), edged higher.

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code 2015 will ensure better debt recovery for creditors. The bill aims to make it easier for sick companies to either wind up their businesses or engineer a turnaround. The bankruptcy bill seeks to enact a single bankruptcy code to cut down the time to resolve insolvency cases to less than a year, according to media reports.

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) gained 2.64% to Rs 1,277.15 on reports that the company is developing petrol engines for its existing vehicles after the Supreme Court temporarily banned the sale of large diesel cars in Delhi. M&M is among the worst hit by the ban because its mainstay is diesel sport utility vehicles (SUVs) with engine capacity of more than 2,000 cc that cannot be sold in the capital until 31 March 2016. It may be recalled that the Supreme Court had last week imposed a ban on registration of new diesel SUVs and private cars in Delhi with an engine capacity of over 2000cc until 31 March 2016, to rein in the alarming pollution levels in the capital city.

Tata Power Company fell 0.31% to Rs 64.95. The company announced on Saturday, 19 December 2015, that the company's joint venture Maithon Power Limited has commenced the supply of the balance 150 megawatts (MW) to Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEBL) with immediate effect. With this, the entire capacity of 1,050 MW of the Maithon power plant is now being supplied to the procurers based on long term power purchase pact.

The Sensex has declined 409.77 points or 1.57% in this month so far (till 21 December 2015). The Sensex has fallen 1,763.52 points or 6.41% in this calendar year so far (till 21 December 2015). From a 52-week low of 24,833.54 hit on 8 September 2015, the Sensex has risen 902.36 points or 3.63%. The Sensex is off 4,288.84 points or 14.28% from a record high of 30,024.74 hit on 4 March 2015.

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First Published: Mon, December 21 2015. 16:35 IST
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