Sensex, Nifty still trading flat; pharma stocks gain

Sensex, Nifty still trading flat; pharma stocks gain

Sensex, Nifty still trading flat; pharma stocks gain

Overseas, Europe stocks edged higher and Asian stocks were mixed after the Federal Reserve announced a plan to begin unwinding its balance sheet and signaled one more interest rate hike for this year.

The rupee on Thursday weakened over 10-week low against the USA dollar.

Driven by stronger rupee and revival of buying interest of foreign investors amid abundant liquidity, the NSE Nifty closed at 10,153.10 - a new peak - up 67.70 points, or 0.67 per cent, after shuttling between 10,171.70 and 10,131.30.

The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE closed at 32,370.04 points - down 30.47 points, or 0.09 per cent, from its previous close. It rose 17.75 points or 0.17% at the day's high of 10,158.90 in early trade.

Asian markets struggled ahead of the Fed meeting outcome slated later in the day, analysts said. "Investors could now be eyeing GST rate revisions and updates on GST implementation in petroleum products to take the next crucial step", said Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services Ltd. Andhra Bank fell 3.5 percent, Bank of India declined 3.3 percent, Syndicate Bank lost 2.7 percent, Punjab National Bank shed 2.3 percent while Canara Bank was down 1.5 percent.

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The pharma counter attracted buying interest as the rupee weakened against the dollar, with most of the earnings denominated in the U.S. currency. Index heavyweights Reliance Industries, HDFC Bank and ITC fell over half a percent.

Sun Pharma, Hindustan Unilever, PowerGrid and ICICI Bank were also on the losing side, falling by up to 1.96 per cent.

In terms of the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap index fell by 0.34 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.51 per cent. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) showed support by taking shares worth a net Rs 775.61 crore while foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) discarded equities worth Rs 96.92 crore yesterday, according to provisional data.

The BSE realty index was the biggest drag, down 2.28 per cent. Consumer durables, PSU and banking indices too weighed while healthcare and IT indices ended higher.

Divis Labs rallied 5 percent as Axis Capital has upgraded rating on the stock to buy and hiked its target price to Rs 1,080 from Rs 625 per share, following increase in FY19 EPS estimates by 15 percent with improved visibility on US FDA resolution.

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