Key barometers continued trading in a range in early afternoon trade. At 12:23 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 3.24 points or 0.01% at 38,819.47. The Nifty 50 index was down 1.25 points or 0.01% at 11,581.65.
The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was up 0.5%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index was up 0.37%. Both these indices outperformed the Sensex.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was positive. On the BSE, 1069 shares rose and 1027 shares fell. A total of 118 shares were unchanged.
Metal stocks advanced. Jindal Steel & Power (up 3.58%), Tata Steel (up 2.25%), Vedanta (up 1.92%), NMDC (up 1.77%), National Aluminium Company (up 1.5%), Steel Authority of India (up 1.39%), Hindalco Industries (up 0.71%), Hindustan Zinc (up 0.2%) and Hindustan Copper (up 0.01%) gained.
Power Finance Corporation was up 0.04% to Rs 126.25. Reports suggested that company's 6.3 crore shares, or 2.4% equity, changed hands in two block deals on NSE at an average price of Rs 125 per share.
ACC was up 1.5% to Rs 1574.05 after a foreign brokerage upgraded ACC to neutral from underperform rating and raised price target to Rs 1,695 from Rs 1,586.
Ambuja Cements was up 1.49% to Rs 214.7 after a foreign brokerage house upgraded Ambuja Cements to buy from neutral and raised price target to Rs 261 from Rs 238.
PVR was up 1.62% to Rs 1757.45 after multiplex cinema company announced that it has opened 9-screen multiplex in Gaur City Mall, Greater Noida. This will be PVR's second multiplex in Greater Noida. With this launch, PVR now operates the largest multiplex network with of 794 screens at 168 properties in 67 cities.
Most pharma stocks gained. Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries (up 2.57%), Piramal Enterprises (up 0.99%), Lupin (up 0.88%), Wockhardt (up 0.8%), Cadila Healthcare (up 0.64%), Glenmark Pharmaceuticals (up 0.54%), Alkem Laboratories (up 0.4%), Cipla (up 0.39%) and GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals (up 0.02%) edged higher. Divi's Laboratories (down 0.71%), Dr Reddy's Laboratories (down 0.57%), Aurobindo Pharma (down 0.29%) and IPCA Laboratories (down 0.11%) declined.
Meanwhile, the monsoon has made a great start in July. Average countrywide rainfall in the first 11 days of the month has been 24% above normal, which has helped reduce the overall monsoon deficit to almost a third, from 33% at the end of June to 12%.
On derivatives front, the NSE's India VIX, a gauge of market's expectation of volatility over the near term, fell 2.14% at 12.2025
On the options front, Nifty option chain for 25 July 2019 expiry showed a maximum call open interest (OI) of 31.33 lakh contracts at the 12000 strike price. Maximum put OI of 21.78 lakh contracts was seen at 11300 strike price. Options data suggested a trading range for Nifty will be between 11,300 and 12,000.
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