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Shares hover in a range

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Key benchmark indices pared gains and were trading in a narrow range in mid-morning trade. At 11:17 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 72.74 points or 0.22% at 33,208.92. The Nifty 50 index was up 21.75 points or 0.21% at 10,177. IT and pharmaceutical shares were mixed.

After a dull opening, key indices firmed up and hit fresh intraday high in morning trade. Indices pared gains in mid-morning trade. The Sensex rose 145.59 points, or 0.44% at the day's high of 33,281.77 in morning trade. The index fell 28.86 points, or 0.09% at the day's low of 33,107.32 in early trade. The Nifty rose 52.60 points, or 0.52% at the day's high of 10,207.85 in morning trade. The index fell 7.85 points, or 0.08% at the day's low of 10,147.40 in early trade.

Broader market, however, witnessed selling pressure. Among secondary barometers, the BSE Mid-Cap index was down 0.34%. The BSE Small-Cap index was down 0.29%. Both these indices underperformed the Sensex.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was negative. On BSE, 1,362 shares fell and 926 shares rose. A total of 131 shares were unchanged.

IT shares were mixed. Hexaware Technologies (up 2.22%), Infosys (up 0.41%), MphasiS (up 0.37%), Persistent Systems (up 0.21%) and Tech Mahindra (up 0.16%), edged higher. TCS (down 0.23%), HCL Technologies (down 0.3%), Wipro (down 1.08%), MindTree (down 1.41%) and Oracle Financial Services Software (down 1.62%), edged lower.

Pharmaceuticals shares were mixed. Piramal Enterprises (up 0.79%), IPCA Laboratories (up 0.70%), Alkem Laboratories (up 0.48%), Cadila Healthcare (up 0.39%), Glenmark Pharmaceuticals (up 0.39%) and Lupin (up 0.03%), edged higher. Cipla (down 0.05%), GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals (down 0.18%), Aurobindo Pharma (down 0.29%), Dr Reddy's Laboratories (down 0.37%), Divi's Laboratories (down 0.76%), Strides Shasun (down 1.2%) and Wockhardt (down 1.31%), edged lower.

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries was up 1.06% after the company announced that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved ILUMYA (tildrakizumab-asmn) for the treatment of adults with moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis who are candidates for systemic therapy or phototherapy. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 21 March 2018.

Food chain operator Jubilant FoodWorks rose 1.98% to Rs 2,250.05 on reports a foreign broker maintained outperform with a target price of Rs 2,581. The broker opines that the increasing comparative affordability is expected to drive the company's same-store sales growth (SSG). Store expansion to see uptick going forward, it added. The broker reiterated its view of Jubilant FoodWorks as its top pick in consumer discretionary space.

Overseas, Asian shares were mixed after the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the first time this year. US stocks ended a volatile session slightly lower on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve delivered its sixth interest-rate increase since the end of 2015 and signaled it still expects to deliver two more before the end of the year.

The Fed raised overnight rates by 25 basis points, in line with market expectations. Central bank officials also raised their GDP forecast. Fed officials also released their projections for the federal funds rate, which remained unchanged for 2018. The central bank, however, raised its 2019 forecast, saying it sees the benchmark rate at 2.9%, up from a 2.7% projection released in December.

In US, the current-account deficit rose by 26% in the fourth quarter, widening to $128.20 billion from a revised $101.5 billion in the third quarter. Existing-home sales ran at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 5.54 million in February.

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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: Thu, March 22 2018. 11:18 IST