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Markets will remain closed on 19th & 20th October 2017.
We wish all our readers a very Happy Diwali!

Share Markets in India End Flat; Dr Reddy's & Tata Steel Top Gainers
Wed, 20 Sep Closing | Rini Mehta, TM Team

Indian share markets continued to trade range bound in afternoon session with market participants awaiting the US Federal Reserve's policy statement. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex closed lower by 2 points and the NSE Nifty finished down by 6 points. The S&P BSE Mid Cap and S&P BSE Small Cap both finished down by 0.1%.

Among the sectoral indices, automobile stocks and consumer durables stocks witnessed majority of the selling pressure. Meanwhile, gains were seen in capital goods stocks and healthcare stocks.

Asian stock markets finished higher today with shares in China leading the region. The Shanghai Composite is up 0.27% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng is up 0.27% and Japan's Nikkei 225 is up 0.05%. European markets are mixed. The DAX is higher by 0.06%, while London's FTSE 100 is off 0.05%. Shares in France are unchanged with the CAC 40 at 5,214.

The rupee was trading at Rs 64.36 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 49.48 at the time of writing.

Telecom stocks witnessed selling pressure today after the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) more than halved the so-called interconnect usage charge (IUC) to six paise with effect from 1 October, dealing a big blow to older telecom firms. The move comes as a potential boost to newcomer Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.

surged after after Germany's Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel struck a preliminary deal to merge their European steel operations.

rallied 2.8% after witnessing a block deal in intraday trade. The stock witnessed 51 million shares worth Rs 7.6 billion trade in a block on BSE at Rs 146.40 per share.

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Pharma stocks ended the day on a mixed note with Sun Pharma and Wockhardt leading the losses. Divi's Lab share price zoomed over 9.5% after the company announced that all the previous observations by US drug regulator regarding Unit-2 of its Visakhapatnam facility have been confirmed as completed and resolved. The rally was in addition to 3.6% upside in previous session.

Interestingly, the stock hit nine-month high and was trading at its highest level since 23 December 2016 on BSE. It outperformed the market by surging 47% in past one month, as compared to 4% rise in the S&P BSE Sensex.

The US Food and Drug Administration had inspected company's unit-2 during 11-19 September 2017.

On completion of this inspection, Divi's has received a Form 483 citing six observations which are procedural, but all previous observations have been confirmed as completed and resolved.

This inspection was for full current good manufacturing practice and verification of all corrective actions proposed against the previous Inspection observations.

One shall note that, USFDA 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.

Moving on to the news from oil & gas sector. Shares of the state-run oil marketing companies such as Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation dived up to 2.8% after Moody's Investors Service said that the state-owned fuel retailers have to increase borrowings.

As per the report, IOC, BPCL, and HPCL will have to go in for increased borrowings to sustain high dividend payments and capital spending this fiscal, keeping their credit metrics weak.

It expected dividend payments by the three to decline modestly in 2017-18, but remain higher than in 2015-16.

Further, Moody's expects a combined payout by three companies of Rs 206 billion in dividends, including distribution taxes, lower than Rs 237 billion paid in fiscal 2017 but significantly higher than Rs 85 billion paid in FY16.

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Oct 19, 2017 (Close)

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