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Sensex closes almost flat, Nifty fails to reclaim 15,000

Capital Market 

Domestic equity benchmarks ended with small gains on Monday. Banks, IT, metals and pharma stocks advanced while autos, financials and FMCG shares declined. The Nifty closed near the 15,000 mark.

As per provisional closing data, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rose 35.75 points or 0.07% to 50,441.07. The Nifty 50 index added 18.1 points or 0.12% to 14,956.20.

The broader market advanced. The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index advanced 0.30%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index gained 0.63%.

Buyers outnumbered sellers. On the BSE, 1729 shares rose and 1408 shares fell. A total of 213 shares were unchanged.

Investors sentiment got a boost after the US Senate approved the U.S. President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. However, gains were capped as the Brent crude futures surged above $70 a barrel on Monday, following reports of attacks on Saudi Arabian facilities. Higher crude oil prices could increase fiscal deficit, current account deficit and stoke fuel price inflation.

COVID-19 Update:

Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 11,68,49,611 with 25,93,230 deaths. India reported 1,88,747 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 1,57,853 deaths while 1,08,82,798 patients have been discharged, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.

Buzzing Index:

The Nifty FMCG index declined 0.59% to 33,163.85, extending losses for third day. The index has corrected 0.87% in three sessions.

Varun Beverages (down 4.27%), Jubilant Foodworks (down 2.08%), Hindustan Unilever (down 1.41%), Tata Consumer Products (down 1.06%) and Britannia Industries (down 0.82%) declined.

Meanwhile, Emami (up 1.91%), Dabur India (up 0.92%), United Spirits (up 0.87%), Nestle India (up 0.51%) and United Breweries (up 0.51%) bucked the trend.

Stocks in Spotlight:

Maruti Suzuki India shed 0.02% to Rs 7246. Total production jumped 19.33% to 1,68,180 units in February 2021 from 1,40,933 units in February 2020. Total passenger vehicles production soared 18.10% to 1,65,783 units in February 2021 as compared to 1,40,370 units in February 2020. Light commercial vehicles production surged 325.75% to 2,397 units in February 2021 from 563 units in February 2020.

Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone slipped 0.01% to Rs 748.50. The company's board approved an allotment of upto 1 crore equity shares to Windy Lakeside Investment on a preferential basis. Windy Lakeside Investment is an affiliate of private equity firm Warburg Pincus. The shares will be issued on a preferential basis at a price of Rs 800 per equity share, aggregating to Rs 800 crore.

Post allotment, Windy Lakeside Investment will hold 1 crore equity shares, constituting 0.49% of the share capital of Adani Ports. The transaction is subject to the approval of regulatory/statutory authorities and the shareholders of the company.

Aarti Drugs rose 3.94% to Rs 691.90. The company said that its wholly-owned subsidiary Aarti Speciality Chemicals (ASCL) stands out to be one of the beneficiaries of the Government of India's recently approved Production Linked Incentive (PLI) for the Pharmaceutical Sector.

Muthoot Finance fell 2.31% to Rs 1259.90 after the company said that its chairman M. G. George Muthoot passed away on Friday. The media reports cited police saying the chairman fell from the fourth floor of his house in New Delhi at around 9 pm on Friday.

NMDC added 3.87% to Rs 138.20. The company's board will meet on Thursday, 11 March 2021, to consider interim dividend for the financial year 2020-21. Meanwhile, the company has left the price of lump ore unchanged at Rs 5,100 per tonne and Rs 4,210 per tonne for fines in its latest price revision announced on Saturday (6 March 2021).

Natco Pharma gained 2.09% to Rs 850.15 after the company received final approval for everolimus tablets (a generic version of Afinitor) in the US market. Everolimus is indicated in the treatment of breast cancer and a few other types of cancers. As per industry sales data, Afinitor and its therapeutic equivalents had generated annual sales of $712 million in USA during the twelve months ending December 2020.

Happiest Minds Technologies (HMTL) advanced 0.91% to Rs 540.70. India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra) had upgraded the company's long-term issuer rating to 'IND A-' from 'IND BBB+' and maintained 'positive' outlook on the same. The upgrade reflects a substantial increase in HMTL's operating EBITDA margins in 9MFY21, coupled with a healthy cash flow from operations and initial public offering (IPO) proceeds, leading to a significant improvement in the credit metrics and liquidity position.

SBI Cards and Payment Services rose 0.78% to Rs 1066.55. The company's board will meet on 12 March 2021, to consider raising funds by issuing Non-Convertible Debentures (NCDs), aggregating to Rs 2,000 crore in one or more tranches over a period of time.

Talbros Automotive Components jumped 5.73% to Rs 235.30 after the company along with its joint venture partners won multi-year orders worth about Rs 304 crore. The orders are spread across its domestic and international customers. The orders will be implemented over a period of five years starting from current fiscal year itself and major chunk of it distributed between 2023-2025. The company said that it would need to undertake a capex of approximately Rs 20 crore which along with existing facilities would be sufficient to execute these orders.

DCW jumped 6.21% to Rs 29.95. The specialty chemical maker said that it has completed the refinancing of its debt with the issuance of NCDs (non-convertible debentures) amounting Rs 350 crore and OCDs (optionally convertible debentures) to be converted into equity within 18 months, amounting to Rs 60 crore. The company expects this fundraise to enhance capacity utilization, and meet increasing product demand.

Global Markets:

Most European shares advanced while Asian shares declined on Monday. The US Senate passed a $1.9 trillion economic relief and stimulus bill on Saturday, paving the way for extensions to unemployment benefits, another round of stimulus checks and aid to state and local governments.

However, rising bond yields continued to spark fears that central banks will look to tighten policy sooner than expected.

Meanwhile, China's February exports grew at a record pace from a year earlier when COVID-19 battered the world's second-biggest economy, customs data showed on Sunday, while imports rose less sharply. Exports in dollar terms skyrocketed 154.9% in February compared with a year earlier, while imports gained 17.3%, the most since October 2018.

US stocks jumped on Friday as a stronger-than-expected nonfarm payrolls report improved optimism for a quicker economic recovery. Hiring surged in February as U.S. economic activity picked up with COVID-19 cases steadily dropping and vaccine rollouts providing hope for more growth.

The Labor Department reported Friday that nonfarm payrolls jumped by 379,000 for the month and the unemployment rate fell to 6.2%. That compared with the unemployment rate holding steady from the 6.3% rate in January. The report further showed that hiring also was stronger in January than initially indicated, with that month's tally revised to 166,000 from 49,000. However, December's count was revised lower from a loss of 227,000 to a drop of 306,000.

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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: Mon, March 08 2021. 15:31 IST