Sensex, Nifty begin flat as volatility drops; Sun Pharma jumps 3%, Airtel down 1%, PSU bankers bleed

By: | Published: March 22, 2018 9:22 AM

Indian stock markets started on a positive note on Thursday with the key equity indices Sensex and Nifty opening marginally higher following a little uptick in the shares of HDFC Bank, ITC and Sun Pharma.

Shares of Sun Pharma emerged as the top gainers among the Sensex components on Thursday. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Indian stock markets started on a positive note on Thursday with the key equity indices Sensex and Nifty opening marginally higher following a little uptick in the shares of HDFC Bank, ITC and Sun Pharma. The S&P BSE Sensex gained 70.81 points or 0.21% to open at 33,206.99 whereas NSE Nifty added 12.25 points or 0.12% to begin the day at 10,167.5. Shares of Sun Pharma emerged as the top gainers among the Sensex components on Thursday after the drug maker received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) for plaque psoriasis treatment drug. The blue-chip stock of Sun Pharmaceuticals surged as much as 3.03% to Rs 520 on BSE on Thursday. On Thursday, India Vix, the volatility indicator on NSE, shed 1.6% to 14.8650.

Shares of IRB Infra surged 1% after the National Highways Authority of India awarded highway projects worth Rs 4,452.56 crore to IRB Infrastructure Developers in Tamil Nadu. Shares of Axis Bank were little changed at Rs 524.9, down by 0.09% after India’s third-largest private sector lender said that it has issued bank guarantees on behalf of Bharti Airtel and has Rs 92.22 billion of non-fund based exposure to telecom sector at the end of 31 December 2017 with zero exposure to Aircel.

Shares of PSU banks dropped on Thursday with Union Bank of India, State Bank of India, Canara Bank, Bank of India and Punjab National Bank leading the losses.

Shares of state-run telecom equipment manufacturer ITI advanced over 5% after the Cabinet cleared selling of 18 crore equity shares of ITI Ltd through a follow-on public offer (FPO), which will help the telecom PSU meet the minimum 25% public shareholding norm. Shares of India’s largest telecom company Bharti Airtel were the top losers among the BSE Sensex constituents in the morning deals on Thursday after the company had approached the NCLT over the scheme of demerger with its wholly owned subsidiary Telesonic Network. The stock of Airtel dropped 1.3% to Rs 413.2 on Thursday.

US stocks ended slightly lower on Wednesday, with major indexes giving up gains in choppy trade after the Federal Reserve raised US interest rates, while a strong gain in the energy space helped limit losses, Reuters said in a report. The Fed raised interest rates and forecast at least two more hikes for 2018, signalling growing confidence that US tax cuts and government spending will boost the economy and inflation and lead to more aggressive future tightening, Reuters added. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 44.96 points, or 0.18 percent, to end at 24,682.31, the S&P 500 lost 5.01 points, or 0.18 percent, to 2,711.93 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 19.02 points, or 0.26 percent, to 7,345.29.

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