Sensex, Nifty trade in a range; metal shares decline

Key benchmarks were stuck in a narrow band near day's high in mid-morning trade. At 11:25 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 215.08 points or 0.58% at 37,608.56. The Nifty 50 index was up 55.35 points or 0.49% at 11,312.45. The Nifty was trading above 11,300 mark.

The market opened higher and held firm at higher levels in morning trade. Indices turned range bound in mid-morning trade.

Among secondary barometers, the BSE Mid-Cap index was up 0.20%. The BSE Small-Cap index was up 0.23%. Both these indices underperformed the Sensex.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was positive. On BSE, 1065 shares rose and 927 shares fell. A total of 118 shares were unchanged.

Aurobindo Pharma was down 6.38%. The company said it has received letters from the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) classifying the inspections concluded at the company's API facilities of Unit I and XI and intermediates facility of unit IX in February 2019 as Official Action Indicated (OAI). The company has already submitted its initial response to USFDA. The company is sending further updates on the committed corrective actions. The company is confident that these OAI classifications will not have an impact on disruption of supplies or the revenue from operations of these facilities. The announcement was made before trading hours today, 17 May 2019.

Metal shares declined. Hindalco Industries (down 3.13%), Jindal Steel & Power (down 1.96%), JSW Steel (down 1.32%), Steel Authority of India (down 1.25%), Vedanta (down 1.04%), Tata Steel (down 0.83%), Hindustan Copper (down 0.74%), National Aluminium Company (down 0.2%) and Hindustan Zinc (down 0.16%), edged higher. NMDC was up 1.22%.

FMCG shares advanced. Godrej Consumer Products (up 3.50%), Hindustan Unilever (up 1.68%), GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (up 1.48%), Dabur India (up 1.40%), Bajaj Corp (up 1.10%), Marico (up 0.74%), Colgate Palmolive (India) (up 0.45%), Britannia Industries (up 0.38%), Jyothy Laboratories (up 0.24%) and Nestle India (up 0.23%), edged higher. Tata Global Beverages (down 0.61%) and Procter & Gamble Hygiene & Health Care (down 1.36%), edged lower.

Overseas, most Asian shares declined on Friday. US stocks rose on Thursday after strong earnings from Walmart and Cisco Systems and positive economic data helped quell some of the fears surrounding the ongoing US-China trade war.

On the data front, the Commerce Department said housing starts rose by 5.7% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.235 million. Weekly jobless claims, meanwhile, fell to 212,000 last week. Further, the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index in May rose to a four-month high of 16.6 after registering 8.5 in April. Any reading above zero indicates improving conditions.

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