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Sensex, Nifty turn negative

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The Sensex and the Nifty sharply pared gains and slipped into negative terrain in mid-morning trade. Profit booking at higher levels dragged indices lower. At 11:20 IST, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 41.44 points or 0.1% at 41, 831.29. The Nifty 50 index was down 20.6 points or 0.17% at 12,322.70.

The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was up 0.45%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index was up 0.45%. Both these indices outperformed the BSE Sensex.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was positive. On the BSE, 1242 shares rose and 868 shares fell. A total of 134 shares were unchanged. In Nifty 50 index, 18 stocks advanced while 32 stocks declined.

Buzzing Index:

Telecom Companies are in focus ahead Supreme Court (SC)'s verdict on AGR (adjusted gross revenue) matter. SC will hear review petitions filed by telecom companies (Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea) regarding the AGR matter today, 16 January 2020.

Bharti Airtel rose 1.24% at Rs 473.55. Vodafone Idea gained 1.5% to Rs 6.09.

SC on 24 October 2019 ruled in favor of the government on the AGR issue, with grave revenue implications to the tune of over Rs 92,000 crore for the ailing telecom sector. Telecom companies were asked to pay their dues by 23 January 2020.

AGR is the basis on which Department of Telecommunications (DoT) calculates levies payable by operators. Telecom operators are liable to pay around 3-5% and 8% of the AGR as spectrum usage charges and licence fees, respectively, to DoT.

Telcos argued that AGR should comprise revenue from telecom services, but DoT insisting that AGR should include all revenue earned by an operator, including that from non-core telecom operations.

Q3 Earnings:

Reliance Industrial Infrastructure was down 1.03% to Rs 438.05. On consolidated basis, the company's net profit rose 12.8% to Rs 2.46 crore in Q3 December 2019 as against Q3 December 2018. Net sales fell 5.7% to Rs 19.98 crore on YoY basis.

Tinplate Company of India rose 3.04% to Rs 159.30. On standalone basis, net profit surged 198.9% to Rs 46.45 crore in Q3 December 2019 as against Rs 15.54 in Q3 December 2018. Profit before tax (PBT) stood at Rs 29.45 crore in Q3 December 2019 as against Rs 26.65 crore in Q3 December 2018, rising by 10.5%. Net sales fell 14.1% to Rs 494.69 crore in Q3 December 2019 from Rs 576.19 crore in Q3 December 2018.

Stocks in Spotlight:

Asian Paints fell 0.46% to Rs 1833.35 after the Competition Commission of India (CCI) ordered a probe against the company for unfair business practices. CCI ordered a probe against Asian Paints allegedly hindering the entry of JSW Paints by virtue of its dominance in the market for manufacture and sale of decorative paints. The order came after JSW Paints filed a complaint alleging that Asian Paints threatened various dealers in Karnataka, Telangana and Tamil Nadu from dealing with JSW Paints.

Wockhardt jumped 9.42% to Rs 283.45. The company will reportedly hold a press conference later today.

Foreign Markets:

Asian markets were mixed on Thursday, as profit booking emerged after the signing of the US-China phase 1 trade deal, expectations for which had driven global equities to record highs.

In US, stock indexes closed higher on Wednesday afternoon, though the major benchmarks ended the day well off session highs, after President Donald Trump signed the first phase of a trade pact with China, marking a truce in the dispute over import tariffs which has unsettled markets world-wide and slower economic growth.

All three major benchmarks set record intraday highs, while the Dow and S&P 500 ended the session at record closing levels.

In economic data, US wholesale inflation rose 0.1% in December, according to the Labor Department's producer-price index. Year over year, producer prices rose just 1.3%, roughly half the rate in 2018.

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

First Published: Thu, January 16 2020. 11:21 IST