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Strong finish to the day
Wed, 19 Feb Closing

Indian equity markets started the day on a positive note and continued this trend throughout the day. Benchmark share indices ended near their day's high after a surge in late trades. Pharma and IT stocks were the biggest gainers. While the BSE Sensex closed higher by 88 points, the NSE-Nifty closed higher by 25 points. BSE Mid Cap and the BSE Small Cap closed on a positive note.

As regards global markets, Asian indices closed in the green. European indices have opened in the red. The rupee was trading at Rs 62.2 to the dollar at the time of writing.

Ranbaxy Laboratories and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries have settled claims with the New York Attorney General that an agreement between the two drugmakers unlawfully restricted competition. Under the terms of the settlement, the two generic drug makers will end a 2010 agreement of not challenging each other's rights to sell certain drugs exclusively in the United States. Teva and Ranbaxy will pay the New York state US $300,000 and have agreed to refrain from similar agreements in the future. The settlement concludes an investigation into the agreement relating to atorvastatin calcium, the generic version of Pfizer Inc's Lipitor - a drug used to treat high cholesterol.

Most of the big steel companies stayed away from Goa's first e-auction of iron ore following the ban on mining in September 2012. Goa's Directorate of Mines & Geology (DMG) is holding a weekly auction to sell the 15 mt of iron-ore that is lying idle in jetties and ports across the state, since September 2012. While steel majors shied away from the auction, the auction saw high participation from mine owners themselves, in addition to exporters. Out of 0.53 million tonne (mt) of ore put up for this week's auction, all, except a small amount of 1,200 tonne, was sold out. Most of the big steel companies stayed away due to low quality of ore and higher transportation cost. Prices of iron-ore in Goa are higher than Karnataka. It would not make economic sense for them to buy this low grade iron ore and transport long-distance across the country.

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