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Stock markets in India continued to trade on a positive note in the afternoon session and finished firm for fourth consecutive session. At the closing bell, the BSE Sensex stood higher by 167 points, while the NSE Nifty finished up by 44 points. Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Mid Cap and the S&P BSE Small Cap finished up by 0.5% and 0.4% respectively. Gains were largely seen in pharma stocks, oil & gas stocks and bank stocks.
HDFC Bank share price rose to an all-time high after the Reserve Bank of India removed the foreign institutional investor (FIIs) ban limit on the counter. However, HDFC Bank pared gains (finished up by 3.7%) in the afternoon session after the private sector lender crossed overall limit of 74% of its paid-up capital.
Asian stock markets finished lower today with shares in China leading the region. The Shanghai Composite is down 0.85% while Japan's Nikkei 225 is off 0.58% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng is lower by 0.31%. European markets are lower today with shares in France off the most. The CAC 40 is down 0.85% while Germany's DAX is off 0.35% and London's FTSE 100 is lower by 0.24%.
The rupee was trading at Rs 67.04 against the US$ in the afternoon session. Oil prices were trading at US$ 53.83 at the time of writing.
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According to a leading financial daily, Bharti Airtel has completed the merger of Augere Wireless Broadband India (Augere), a wholly owned subsidiary with itself. Last year in August, the company had signed a definitive agreement to acquire 100% equity stake in Augere. The deal size is estimated to be around Rs 1.5 billion.
Augere is engaged in the business of operating, supplying, managing, dealing and using communication, telecommunication service, telecommunication system etc. as also carrying on the business in the field of providing broadband wireless service, internet service, telecommunication etc.
Augere holds 20 Mhz of spectrum in 2,300 Mhz band in Madhya Pradesh service area, which includes Chhattisgarh, to be used for 4G services. The company had won this spectrum for Rs 1.24 billion in 2010 but has not rolled out services.
Bharti Airtel share price finished the trading day up 0.9% on the BSE.
In another news, Idea Cellular share price plunged 5% before recovering and finished down by 1.7% after it was reported that the company will move out of National Stock Exchange's Nifty 50 index from March 31.
Moving on to news from stocks in pharma sector. Sun Pharmaceuticals share price surged and finished up by 4% in today's trade after it was reported that the company's subsidiary received approval for Tobramycin from the European Medicines Agency.
The approval for the product was received by company's wholly owned subsidiary firm from the European Medicines Agency. The company and its subsidiaries continue to file multiple products across multiple countries on an on-going basis.
Sun Pharma posted a net profit decline of 5% to Rs 14.71 billion in the third quarter ended December as compared to Rs 15.44 billion in the same period previous year.
Sales growth in main markets such as the US and India was slower than expected. Sun Pharma's US market sales in dollar terms rose by 4% over a year ago and declined by 9% sequentially. Growth was expected to suffer as the preceding quarter had one month of exclusivity-period sales of the generic version of cancer drug Gleevec.
Surprisingly, the India business growth at 5% year-on-year too was lower than expected. While notebandi was expected to hit sales growth, its portfolio tilt towards chronic categories would have protected it to an extent. Normalcy has still not returned and the trade's inability to hold inventory (due to the cash shortage) appears to have affected sales growth.
In another development, Lupin share price too finished firm (up 1.2%) after the company received final US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) approval for ANDA Moxifloxacin Hydrochloride Tablets, 400 mg, generic of Avlox Tablets of Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
The company has recently received final approval for its Triamcinolone Acetonide Cream USP, 0.025%, 0.1% and 0.5% from the USFDA to market a generic equivalent of Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s.
HDFC Bank surged more than 9% in the initial hours of trading today after Reserve Bank of India (RBI) removed restrictions on foreign institutional investors for the purchase of its shares. This fueled the Bank Nifty Index rally to touch its life high.
The Index opened at 20,918, a 675-point gap up, but it couldn't sustain and dragged down immediately after touching a high of 21,042. This formed a bearish candle for the index on the daily chart.
The red candle on the daily chart near the resistance level coupled with RSI trading in its overbought level is a sign of concern for the bulls. On the other hand, a sustained close above this level might cheer them.
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