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Sensex Finishes on a Flat Note; Dr Reddy's Lab Surges 2.4%
Wed, 13 Sep Closing | Karan Janani, TM Team

Indian share markets came under pressure in final few hours of trade to finish on a flat note amid mixed global markets. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex closed higher by 28 points and the NSE Nifty finished down 14 points. The S&P BSE Mid Cap finished down by 0.7% while & S&P BSE Small Cap too finished down by 0.6%. PSU stocks and energy stocks witnessed majority of the selling pressure. Meanwhile, gains were seen in bank stocks and pharma stocks.

Asian stock markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Nikkei 225 gained 0.45% and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.14%. The Hang Seng lost 0.28%. European markets are mixed. Shares in London are lower with the FTSE 100 off by 0.54%. Stock markets in Germany and France are trading flat.

The rupee was trading at Rs 63.98 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 48.59 at the time of writing.

Oil & Gas stocks languished in today's trade with BPCL share price and HPCL share price leading the losses.

As per an article in The Livemint, Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd (BPCL) will invest Rs 1.08 trillion over the next five years to expand operations across its business segments. The company is bullish on the petrochemicals segment and plans to invest around Rs 450 billion in the business over five years.

At present, 1% of BPCL's throughput is getting converted into petrochemicals. By 2022-23, we are targeting a throughput of 10-15%. The company, which received 'maharatna' status recently, will be able to raise cheaper funds and make investments of up to Rs 50 billion in a single project going forward.

In news from economy, as per a leading financial daily, a joint study carried out by the industry body Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and EY have said that the government should focus more on ways to push manufacturing sector growth in order to maintain a sustained Indian economic growth of 9-10% per annum.

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The joint report titled 'Sustaining India's growth by accelerating manufacturing' has stated that even though rollout of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime has addressed several regulatory issues, state governments must look into the issues like bureaucratic obstacles, obstructive regulations and policies to boost manufacturing sector.

Adding further, it noted that manufacturing sector in each Indian state and union territory (UT) has the potential to grow either directly by setting up new industries or by creating ancillary facilities, infrastructure and necessary forward-backward linkages to existing ones.

The ASSOCHAM-EY study further said that for states, the best way to grow is to focus on industries where a particular state has competitive edge over others in terms of raw material availability, demand, user industries, logistics and availability of skilled manpower, besides geographical location.

It also said that the government's Make in India initiative will help elevate country's manufacturing sector as it aims to increase share of manufacturing in the GDP to 25% from current 16% and to create 100 million new jobs by 2022.

Moving on to news from pharma sector. Dr Reddy's share price finished the trading day on an encouraging note (up 2.4%) after it was reported that the company and Curis Inc's subsidiary, Aurigene Discovery Technologies Ltd will conduct Phase 2 trials of CA-170, a potential drug to treat cancers at select sites in India.

Curis is a specialised biotechnology company engaged in discovery and early clinical development of novel and best-in-class therapies to treat cancer and inflammatory diseases. As per the reports, the next phase of trials is a result of the encouraging response to the presentation of preliminary data from the initial 34 patients with cancer treated in the dose escalation stage of the Phase 1 trial of CA-170.

In another development, Wockhardt share price surged 4.5% after the company said it is undertaking remediation measures for US-linked facilities. The company will re-invite the US drug regulator after remediation of plants is completed.

Notably, foreign health regulator's alerts on Indian pharma companies have increased over the past few years. Regulators used to visit the plants every two years. Now they come every eight months.

Increasing inspections has led to a total of 41 import alerts in the past eight years. This clearly signifies increased USFDA scrutiny on Indian pharma firms. If that wasn't enough, increasing pricing pressure in the generics segment has dented realizations.

Expediting Drug Approval Process to be a Positive for Industry

In this dull scenario, there appears to be some respite as the USFDA has expedited the drug approval process. Drug approvals for Indian companies have gone up 50% in the period from January to June 2017 compared to the same period last year.

In news from mining sector, Coal India is reportedly looking to diversify into other metals like copper and nickel through overseas mines. The company is firming up such plans and geographies like Africa.

In an earlier instance, the company's African subsidiary, Coal India Africana Limitada (CIAL), was granted prospecting licences for two leaseholds in Mozambique.

Coal India, along with a consortium of Fertilizer Corporation of India (FCIL), GAIL and Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers, is also looking to revive the sick plant of FCIL's Talcher unit.

As per an article in The Hindu, the Indian power sector and hence the coal market is undergoing a rapid change in terms of structure and mix. The lukewarm demand facing the thermal power plants, the low PLF, the rapid progress in solar and renewables comes as a possible on the coal and allied industries. It is interesting to see how the coal sector prepares itself to face the changing dynamics.

Coal India share price finished the day down by 0.5% on the BSE.

ITC share price finished down by 2.2% despite plans to create fresh vegetables brand. As per an article in The Economic Times, ITC is likely to enter the market with fresh potato. a first-of-its-kind in India followed by some more fresh vegetables. The company is also planning to launch fruit pulps and juices in order to become top food company in India.

And here's a note from Profit Hunter:

The Oil and gas sector is the worst performing sector in the stock market today - down 1.70%. The oil marketing companies (OMCs) are leading the fall - BPCL (-6.20%), HPCL (-5.05%), and IOC (-4.30%).

BPCL announced that it will invest Rs 1.08 trillion over the next five years to expand operations across its business segment. But market participants reacted negatively to the news. The stock plunged 6% with above average volumes.

The stock has been trading in a rising channel line since July 2016. Recently, it broke below the channel's support line but it recovered immediately to get back into the channel. The stock continued to trade strong to hit a new life high of Rs 546 earlier this month where it found resistance from the channel's upper band.

The stock is now exactly in the middle of the channel. So will the stock hit the channel's support line or the upper line first? Let's wait and watch...

BPCL Plunges 6% for the Day
BPCL Plunges 6% for the Day 

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Please Note: The stock price of Yes Bank on NSE-50 is not adjusted for face value split. Kindly refer to its BSE's quote today for the adjusted price.

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Sep 21, 2017 03:37 PM

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