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Sensex, Nifty Trade on a Choppy Note; Biocon Rises 4.5%
Mon, 20 Nov 11:30 am | Karan Janani, TM Team

Indian share markets continue to trade flat with a negative bias during the morning trade. Loses are largely seen in metal stocks and software stocks. Consumer durables stocks, FMCG stocks and power stocks trade in green.

The BSE Sensex is trading lower by 12 points and the NSE Nifty is trading lower by 9 points. The BSE Mid Cap index is trading up by 0.2% while the BSE Small Cap index is trading up by 0.5%. The rupee is trading at 64.85 to the US$.

In news from pharma sector, Biocon share price surged 4.5% in morning trade after the company received Establishment Inspection Report (EIR) from US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) in relation to the cGMP (current Good Manufacturing Practice) inspection of its aseptic drug product facility.

The USFDA has classified the outcome of this inspection as VAI (voluntary action indicated) and the EIR states that the inspection is closed. Of late, the firm registered a 53.1% fall in its consolidated net profit at Rs 688 million for the quarter ended September, mainly on account of plant modifications, Malaysia facility costs and pricing pressures in APIs business.

In another development, Eris Lifesciences share price is trading up by 7% after the company entered into definitive agreements with Strides Shasun for acquisition of Strides' branded generics business in India for an aggregate cash consideration of Rs 5 billion.

In terms of the agreement, Eris will acquire the marketing and distribution rights for the said portfolio of products in India while Strides will retain the global rights for these products.

With this acquisition, Eris's will be among the top ten companies in the Central Nervous System segment. Eris is already among the top 20 companies in the cardiology segment and ranks among the top ten in the diabetology segment.

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Moving on to news from airline stocks. In a big push to the Indian aviation sector, country's domestic air traffic registered a growth of 20.52% in October when airlines flew 10.45 million passengers as compared to 8.67 million during the corresponding period last year. It was for the first time, the air travel volume breached the 10 million mark in October.

According to the monthly traffic data released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), market leader IndiGo ferried the maximum number of passengers at 4.13 million, 39.5% of the entire domestic aviation market. It was followed by Jet Airways with 1.58 million passengers and SpiceJet with 1.36 million.

IndiGo, increased its market share of scheduled domestic flights in the month of October as most other airlines saw a marginal decline. Market share of IndiGo stood at 39.5% in the month as compared to 38.2% in the month of September.

A Good Year For Aviation Stocks

2017 started off on a brilliant note for aviation stocks. Crude prices had crashed. And lower cost of air turbine fuel suddenly changed the economics of the aviation business. In India, fuel costs account for a lion's share of operating expenses for companies like Spicejet and Jet Airways.

Lower costs therefore meant the possibility of the companies reporting profits at least at the operating level. The stock of Spicejet, in particular, soared on the expectations of a turnaround in profitability.

To add to that, Buffett did something in the last quarter of 2016 that Buffett aficionados would consider unimaginable. He poured upwards of US$ 2 billion a piece into the four largest US airline stocks - American Airlines Group Inc, Delta Air Lines Inc, Southwest Airlines Co, and United Continental Holdings Inc. This took his total investments in these companies to a mammoth US$ 9.2 billion as of December 2016.

Airline stocks are trading on a positive note with Spicejet share price and jet airways share price leading the gains.

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