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Sensex ends above 44,000; broader market outperforms

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Domestic benchmark indices ended with modest gains on Monday, tracking positive global cues on hopes for imminent coronavirus vaccines. The Nifty managed to close above the 12,900 mark as pharma and IT shares rallied.

As per provisional closing data, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rose 194.90 points or 0.44% at 44,077.25. The Nifty 50 index advanced 67.7 points or 0.53% at 12,926.65.

The Sensex hit a fresh record high of 44,271.15 in initial deals while the Nifty hit a record high of 12,968.85 in mid afternoon session.

The broader market outperformed the benchmark indices. The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index rose 1.25% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index gained 1.37%.

Buyers outnumbered sellers. On the BSE, 1,679 shares rose and 1,149 shares fell. A total of 185 shares were unchanged. In Nifty 50 index, 36 stocks advanced while 14 stocks declined.

Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth Rs 3,860.78 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs), were net sellers to the tune of Rs 2,868.66 crore in the Indian equity market on 20 November 2020, provisional data showed.

COVID-19 Update:

Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 5,86,49,890 with 13,88,075 deaths. India reported 4,43,486 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 1,33,738 deaths while 85,62,641 patients have been discharged, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.


FICCI's latest quarterly survey on Manufacturing pointed towards recovery of manufacturing sector for Q2 (July-September 2020-21) as compared to previous quarter. The percentage of respondents reporting higher production in second quarter of 2020-21 has increased vis-a-vis the Q1 of 2020-21. The proportion of respondents reporting higher output during July-September 2020 rose to 24%, as compared to 10% in Q1 of 2020-21. The percentage of respondents expecting low or same production is 74% in Q2 2020-21 which was 90% in Q1 of 2020-21. The overall capacity utilization in manufacturing has witnessed a rise to 65% as compared to 61.5% in Q4 2019-20.

Buzzing Segment:

Shares of select banks, non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) and microfinance institutions (MFIs) after the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI's) internal working group proposed changes in the corporate structure of Indian private sector banks.

Equitas Holdings, Ujjivan Small Finance Bank and IDFC hit an upper circuit of 20% while Ujjivan Financial Services, IDFC First Bank, AAVAS Financiers, Shriram City Union Finance, Bajaj Holdings & Investment, Bajaj Finserv and Indusind Bank gained by between 4% to 18%.

Stocks in Spotlight:

Reliance Industries (RIL) gained 2.65% after the Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Friday approved the acquisition of retail, wholesale, logistics & warehousing businesses of Future Group by Reliance Retail Ventures. Reliance Industries (RIL) on 29 August 2020 announced the acquisition of retail & wholesale business and logistics & warehousing business from the Future Group as going concerns on a slump sale basis for Rs 24,713 crore through its subsidiary Reliance Retail Ventures (RRVL). RIL said the acquisition complements and makes a strong strategic fit into Reliance's retail business.

Glenmark Pharmaceuticals gained 0.64%.

The pharmaceutical major recently published data on Favipiravir as treatment for mild to moderate COVID-19 demonstrated significant improvement in time to clinical cure. The oral antiviral medication Favipiravir, that prevents the replication phase of the virus life-cycle, leads to significant improvement in clinical cure in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19. These findings were observed in a randomized, controlled Phase 3 clinical study conducted by Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, and the results are now published online in The International Journal of Infectious Diseases (IJID).

Mindtree advanced 3.18% after the company announced a five-year deal with a leading wind turbine manufacturer, The Nordex Group. "The Nordex Group chose Mindtree as its business transformation partner to simplify, modernize, and transform its entire IT landscape globally, while providing scalability to support the company's growth plans, the IT firm said.

Praj Industries advanced 7.13% after the company signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas for providing technology support to Compressed Bio Gas (CBG) projects under SATAT scheme. The objective of the MoU is to facilitate technological support to the entities for setting-up and commissioning of multiple number of eligible and qualified CBG plants and their continuous operation for production of CBG and organic compost manure under sustainable alternative towards affordable transportation (SATAT), the company said.

Jindal Steel & Power (JSPL) rose 2.37% after the company recorded a 13% year-on-year (YoY) growth in standalone steel production at 585,000 metric tons in October 2020 as against 518,000 metric tons in the same month last year. JSPL's standalone sales rose by 10% year on year in October 2020 to 600,000 metric tons (MT) as against 547,000 metric tons recorded in the previous year during the same period.

SREI Infrastructure Finance slumped 12.82% after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) initiated a special audit of the company and its subsidiary. Selling pressure was also seen as SREI holds a 3.34% stake in the Lakshmi Vilas Bank, which has been put under a 30-day moratorium by RBI. Furthermore, Brickwork Ratings (BWR) had downgraded the long-term ratings of SREI Infrastructure Finance (SIFL) on the innovative perpetual debt instrument to BWR BB' from BWR BBB-'/Negative while placing the ratings under credit watch with negative implications. The credit ratings agency said that the rating downgrade was mainly driven by continued stress on asset quality, significant decline in profitability and stretched liquidity position of the company on account of low collections.

BEML gained 2.46% after the PSU Enterprise received variation order to contract 'MRS1' from DMRC, for additional 12 trainsets of 6 cars each (total 72 cars) to operate on line 2B and 7 of Mumbai metro project. The order is valued at Rs 501 crore (approx) on equivalent INR basis.

Global Markets:

The US Dow Jones Futures were trading 204 points higher, indicating a strong start on Wall Street today.

European markets were trading higher while Asian markets advanced on Monday as hopes rise that effective coronavirus vaccines will start to be rolled out soon. Markets in Japan were closed for a holiday.

On the economic data front, Singapore's economy contracted 5.8% in the third quarter, according to the country's Ministry of Trade and Industry. Developments surrounding the coronavirus will likely continue to weigh on investor sentiment. South Korea is set to impose stricter distancing regulations for the greater Seoul area and southwestern region in an attempt to stem a resurgence of the coronavirus, as per reports.

US stocks fell on Friday as rising new coronavirus cases, coupled with questions around central-bank funding for key emergency programs, cast doubt on a swift economic recovery. Also, weighing on sentiment Friday was a disagreement between the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve over the continuation of funding for some of the emergency programs implemented during the recession.

On the coronavirus vaccine front, Pfizer and BioNTech said they applied for an emergency use authorization for their vaccine from the Food and Drug Administration. The companies said they can be ready to ship the vaccine within hours after the FDA approves the authorization.

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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, November 23 2020. 15:36 IST