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Sensex firms up 340 pts; pharma shares correct

Capital Market 

The benchmark indices firmed up once again in mid-afternoon trade. The Nifty reclaimed 11,900 mark. The overall sentiment was robust as RBI left key policy rates unchanged and said GDP growth may break out of contraction and turn positive by Q4.

At 14:29 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, added 340.45 points or 0.85% at 40,523.39. The Nifty 50 index was up 81.6 points or 0.69% at 11,916.85.

The broader market continued to hover in the red. The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was down 0.22% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap fell 0.23%.

The market breadth was negative. On the BSE, 1171 shares rose and 1400 shares fell. A total of 180 shares were unchanged.

COVID-19 Update:

India reported 8,93,592 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 106,490 deaths while 59,06,069 patients have been discharged, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 36,444,284 with 1,060,929 deaths.

RBI Policy Outcome:

RBI's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) decided to hold key policy rates at existing levels. Three new external members in the panel voted in today's decision. The repo rate, the interest rate at which it lends short-term funds to commercial lenders, was retained at 4%. Consequently, the reverse repo rate, at which the RBI borrows from lenders, remained unchanged at 3.35%. The central bank retained its "accommodative" stance on monetary policy to support the coronavirus-hit economy.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das said that India's GDP growth will contract by 9.5% in fiscal 2021 due to disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic that has hit economic activities.

However, the GDP growth rate may break out of contraction and turn positive during January-March due to recovery seen across sectors, he added.

Buzzing Index:

The Nifty Pharma index declined 1.2% to 12,062.45. The index jumped 2.47% on Thursday.

Solara Active Pharma Sciences (down 4.56%), Laurus Labs (down 3.37%), Biocon (down 3.28%), Narayana Hrudayalaya (down 2.9%), Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries (down 2.33%), Dr Lal Pathlabs (down 2.11%), Hikal Ltd (down 1.88%), Torrent Pharmaceuticals (down 1.84%) and Sun Pharma Advanced Research Company (down 1.8%) were top losers in pharmaceutical space.

Stocks in Spotlight:

CreditAccess Grameen rose 1.01% to Rs 730.70 after the company said it raised about Rs 799.99 crore through qualified institutional placement (QIP) of 1.13 crore equity shares at Rs 707 each. The issue price is at 0.1% discount to the QIP floor price of Rs 707.69 per equity share. The QIP issue opened on 5 October 2020 and closed on 8 October 2020.

Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) rose 2.15%. The company's total throughput volumes declined 8.61% to 8,85,673 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) (provisional) in Q2 FY21 from 9,69,158 TEUs in Q2 FY20. Sequentially, the company's total volume have increased by 22.16% from 7,32,711 TEUs in Q1 FY21. While the export import (EXIM) volumes have fallen 9.83% to 7,44,788 TEUs, domestic (DOM) volumes witnessed a smaller contraction of 1.58% to 1,40,885 TEUs in Q2 FY21 over Q2 FY20.

Steel Authority Of India (SAIL) rose 1.18%. The state-run steel major registered a 31.3% growth in sales during Q2 September 2020 over Q2 September 2019. SAIL added that post the COVID-19 related lockdown, the company has been witnessing an impressive sales performance which started in June 2020. This has led to the company's first half of the financial year ending March 2021 (H1) sales bounce back to the levels achieved during corresponding period last year (CPLY). During the Q2 of FY2020-21, the saleable steel production also registered a growth of 5.2% over CPLY. The company said its strategic marketing efforts and customer-centric initiatives coupled with teamwork contributed to this improvement in sales and production.

Numbers to Track:

In the foreign exchange market, the partially convertible rupee rose to 73.1575 compared with its previous closing 73.24.

The yield on 10-year benchmark federal paper fell to 5.926% compared with previous closing of 6.015% in the previous trading session.

MCX Gold futures for 5 October 2020 settlement gained 1.01% to Rs 50,680.

In the commodities market, Brent crude for December 2020 settlement fell 10 cents to $43.24 a barrel. The contract rose 3.22% to settle at $43.34 in the previous trading session.

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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: Fri, October 09 2020. 14:25 IST