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Sensex Opens Flat; Bajaj Auto & Tata Motors Surge 4%
Fri, 22 Jan 09:30 am | Yash Vora, TM Team

Asian stock markets retreated from record highs today as investors took some money off the table after a recent rally that was driven by hopes a massive US economic stimulus plan by incoming President Joe Biden will help temper the Covid-19 impact.

The Hang Seng is trading down by 1.2% while the Shanghai Composite is down 0.8%. The Nikkei is trading lower by 0.4%.

In US stock markets, Wall Street indices scaled fresh record highs on Thursday as investors bet on strong earnings from big tech companies next week.

A better-than-expected reading on jobless claims also supported sentiment. First-time claims for unemployment insurance totalled 900,000 for the week ended January 16, lower than an estimate of 925,000 according to economists surveyed by Dow Jones.

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended on a flat note while the tech heavy Nasdaq ended higher by 0.6%.

Back home, Indian share markets have opened the day on a flat note, following the trend on SGX Nifty.

Market participants are tracking Yes Bank share price and Reliance Industries share price as these companies are set to announce their December quarter results later today.

The BSE Sensex is trading down by 73 points. Meanwhile, the NSE Nifty is trading lower by 17 points.

Bajaj Auto and Asian Paints are among the top gainers today. Axis Bank is among the top losers today.

The BSE Mid Cap index and the BSE Small Cap index have opened up by 0.6% and 0.4%, respectively.

Sectoral indices are trading mixed with stocks in the automobile sector and consumer durables sector witnessing buying interest.

Banking stocks and finance stocks, on the other hand, are trading in red.

Shares of Havells India and Kajaria Ceramics hit their respective 52-week highs today.

The rupee is trading at 73.00 against the US$.

Gold prices are trading down by 0.2% at Rs 49,345 per 10 grams.

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In news from the pharma sector, biopharmaceutical major Biocon has posted a 19% dip on a year-on-year (YoY) basis in its consolidated net profit at Rs 1.86 billion for the third quarter of FY21, owing to its generics business taking a hit along with headwinds across operational, regulatory and commercial functions.

The company had posted a net profit of Rs 2.3 billion in the same quarter last year.

Biocon's consolidated revenue for Q3FY21 increased by 7.2% at Rs 18.8 billion as against Rs 17.5 billion for the said quarter last year.

Revenue growth came on the back of a 13% rise in research services and 11% in biosimilar business segments on a YoY basis, along with core earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) margins of 31%, said Biocon's executive chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw.

On the other hand, the company's generics business reported a 3% dip in the third quarter at Rs 5.6 billion.

The company also said that Christiane Hamacher has stepped down as the managing director of Biocon Biologics, the biosimilar subsidiary of Biocon, and also ceased to be a member of the board of Biocon Biologics Limited, effective January 20.

Arun Chandavarkar, member of the board of Biocon Biologics, has taken over as the managing director effective January 21 for a period of up to two years.

Biocon share price has opened the day down by 6.5%.

In other news, Sun Pharma is among the top buzzing stocks today.

Sun Pharma, in a communication to the stock exchanges informed that the Board of Directors of the company, in at its meeting scheduled to be held on Friday, January 29, 2021, will consider declaration of interim dividend on the equity shares of the company, for the financial year 2020-21.

Sun Pharma share price has opened the day down by 0.1%.

Moving on to news from the realty sector, as per an article in a leading financial daily, institutional investors continued to show interest in Indian real estate with a total US$ 5 billion investments, equivalent to 93% of transactions witnessed in the previous year, despite a sudden halt brought on by the pandemic.

The annual performance received major support from the fourth quarter's US$ 3.5 billion investments, while office assets accounted for a major share of investments during the year.

Data released by JLL India showed that the recovery has been narrow-based as 27 deals were transacted in 2020 over 54 in 2019. The two large portfolio deals with an estimated value of US$ 3.2 billion accounted for 65% of the total investments in 2020.

The two major deals- the Blackstone Group picking up 21 million sq ft completed and under construction office, retail and hospitality assets from Prestige Estates for US$ 1.2 billion and the Brookfield Group's US$ 2 billion deal with RMZ Group to acquire 12.5 million sq ft office and co-working assets indicate that office assets account for a major share of the portfolio deals.

The article also added that investments are expected to gain momentum during the second half of 2021 as investors increase their exposures and listing of forthcoming REITs will drive investment volumes in 2021.

In other news, real estate developers have urged the Centre for a two-year extension on the five-year deadline for completion of affordable houses.

"As an impetus to developers we seek an extension on the time-frame to around 7 years for completion of affordable houses, which is currently at five years from the date of sanction. We hope that this year's Budget will include some positive incentives for the sector," said Pavitra Shankar, Executive Director, Brigade Enterprises.

The realty sector is also expecting the government to accord industry status.

With finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman all set to table the Union Budget 2021 on February 1 for 2021-22 fiscal, the pandemic-hit real estate sector is eagerly expecting for some big-ticket announcements.

Speaking of the realty sector, note that the sector was the top gainer last month with gains of 16%, followed by metal and IT sector with gains of 9.4%.

The government has been taking proactive measures in the form of moratoriums, tax cuts, construction premium cuts and project timeline deferrals, to help the recovery of real estate sector.

In August last year, the stamp duty rates were reduced from 5% to 2% till December 2020 and 3% till March 2021.

Maharashtra cabinet on January 6 cleared the proposal to reduce all premiums for on-going as well as new real estate projects by 50%, up to December 2021. The decision was taken after the recommendations of the Deepak Parekh committee.

The developers welcomed this strong decision of Maharashtra Government to boost real estate sector which generates maximum employment and had not seen pick up in sales for several years.

How realty stocks perform in the coming months remains to be seen. Meanwhile, we will keep you updated on the latest developments from this space.

To know what's moving the Indian stock markets today, check out the most recent share market updates here.

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