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Benchmarks crawl higher amid volatile trading
(03-Dec-2018  , 16:32 Hours IST)

Key equity benchmarks extended gains for sixth straight trading session. However, the trading was volatile as gains triggered by strong global cues were almost offset by lower-than-expected domestic GDP data. Selling in Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Reliance Industries and Mahindra & Mahindra capped gains. Global shares were upbeat as truce talks between US and Chinese leaders at the G20 summit improved investors' risk appetite.

The Sensex rose 46.70 points or 0.13% to settle at 36,241, its highest closing level since 1 October 2018. The index rose 251.86 points, or 0.70% at the day's high of 36,446.16. The index fell 94.62 points, or 0.26% at the day's low of 36,099.68.

The Nifty 50 index rose 7 points or 0.06% to settle at 10,883.75, its highest closing level since 1 October 2018. The index rose 64.45 points, or 0.59% at the day's high of 10,941.20. The index fell 31.40 points, or 0.29% at the day's low of 10,845.35.

The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index and the S&P BSE Small-Cap index rose by 0.46% each. Both these indices outperformed the Sensex.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was positive. On the BSE, 1,321 shares rose and 1,263 shares fell. A total of 195 shares were unchanged.

Among the sectoral indices on BSE, the S&P BSE Realty index (up 2.6%), the S&P BSE Power index (up 2.47%) and the S&P BSE Metal index (up 2.14%), outperformed the Sensex. The S&P BSE Healthcare index (down 1.21%), the S&P BSE Energy index (down 0.52%) and the S&P BSE Auto index (down 0.19%), underperformed the Sensex.

FMCG major Hindustan Unilever gained 4.12%. GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare rose 3.75%. The board of directors of Hindustan Unilever (HUL) today, 3 December 2018, approved a scheme of amalgamation between the company and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GSK CH India) subject to obtaining requisite approvals from statutory authorities and shareholders. HUL has reached a definite agreement with GSK CH India in this regard. The transaction is an all equity merger with 4.39 shares of HUL being allotted for every share in GSK CH India. This transaction values the total business at Rs 31700 crore.

Following the issue of new HUL shares, Unilever's holding in HUL will be diluted from 67.2% to 61.9%. The merger includes the totality of operations within GSK CH India, including a consignment selling contract to distribute GSK CH India's over-the-counter and oral health products in India. The transaction is expected to be completed in one year subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals. The acquisition is in line with the Hindustan Unilever strategy to build a sustainable and profitable foods and refreshment (F&R) business in India by leveraging the mega trend of health and wellness.

Index heavyweight Reliance Industries fell 1.02% to Rs 1,156.30.

Sun Pharmaceutical Industries fell 7.52% to Rs 455.30. According to media reports, stock markets regulator Sebi is likely to reopen an insider trading case against Sun Pharmaceutical Industries as well as probe alleged lapses by some of its promoters and other entities in raising funds overseas. The development comes after a whistleblower reportedly approached Sebi with a document alleging various irregularities by the company, its promoter Dilip Shanghvi and others, reports added.

In August 2017, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, its MD Dilip Shanghvi, and nine other entities settled an insider trading probe on payment of Rs 18 lakh towards settlement charges. Sebi is likely to reopen the case. The markets regulator has powers to reopen cases of settlement related to insider trading on various grounds, reports suggested.

With reference to news item captioned Governance cloud over Sun, stock at 6-mth low., the company issued a clarification on Thursday, 29 November 2018, that the article refers to a note circulated by one of the securities firm. The points raised in this note pertain to historic events, some of which are dated as far back as 10-15 years. Certain points raised in the said note are incomplete and have been presented in a negative manner. The supporting information to the points raised in the note has been sourced from public domain and hence this information/data is already available in public domain. Further, there is no material impact of the news article on the company.

Meanwhile, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries announced before trading hours today, 3 December 2018, that it has received final approval from US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for its abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) for generic version of Ganirelix Acetate Injection, 250 mcg/0.5 mL. The generic version is therapeutic equivalent to Organon's Ganirelix Acetate injection, 250 mcg/0.5 mL. As per IQVIA, Ganirelix Acetate injection, 250 mcg/0.5 mL had annual sales of approximately $67 million in the US for the 12 months ended September 2018. The commercialization of this product in the US market is expected in Q4FY2019.

Car major Maruti Suzuki India rose 1.24%. The company's sales fell 0.7% to 153,539 units in November 2018 over November 2017. The announcement was made on Saturday, 1 December 2018.

Bajaj Auto rose 0.08%. The company's sales rose 25% to 4.06 lakh units in November 2018 over November 2017. The announcement was made on Saturday, 1 December 2018.

Hero MotoCorp fell 1.02%. The company's sales rose 0.82% to 610,252 units in November 2018 over November 2017. The announcement was made on Saturday, 1 December 2018.

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) fell 3.79%. The company's auto sales rose 17% to 45,101 units in November 2018 over November 2017. The announcement was made on Saturday, 1 December 2018.

M&M's Farm Equipment Sector (FES) announced its tractor sales numbers for November 2018. Domestic sales in November 2018 were at 25,159 units, as against 21,271 units during November 2017. Total tractor sales (domestic + exports) during November 2018 were at 25,949 units, as against 22,994 units for the same period last year. Exports for the month stood at 790 units. The announcement was made during market hours today, 3 December 2018.

Tata Motors rose 2.01%. The sales performance of Tata Motors commercial and passenger vehicles business in the domestic market, for the first time witnessed a drop of 4% at 50,470 units in November 2018 as against 52,464 units in November 2017, due to low consumer sentiments as a result of liquidity crisis in the industry, higher interest rates and rising fuel costs. The company said it will continue to focus on aggressive sales enhancement and provide better service to its customers in these challenging times. The announcement was made on Saturday, 1 December 2018.

On the macro front, manufacturing operating conditions in India strengthened for the third successive month in November, as healthier inflows of new orders encouraged companies to lift production and input buying to greater extents than in October, data released today, 3 December 2018 showed.

The Nikkei India Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose for the third consecutive month in November to 54 from 53.1 in October. The latest figure signalled the strongest improvement in the health of the sector in almost one year.

India's gross domestic product (GDP) rose 7.1% in July-September, down from 8.2% in the previous quarter though it still marked a comforting uptick compared to the previous year's 6.3% reading in the same quarter. The manufacturing sector expanded 7.4% following 13.5% surge in the previous quarter while the agriculture sector grew 3.8% from 5.3% in the previous quarter. Trade, Hotel, Transport, Communication & Services related to Broadcasting rose 6.80%, almost matching the growth in previous quarter. Financial, Real Estate & Professional Services expanded 6.30%, easing slightly from a 6.52% in previous quarter. The data was released by the government after market hours on Friday, 30 November 2018.

The combined Index of Eight Core Industries stood at 134.8 in October, 2018, which was 4.8% higher as compared to the index of October, 2017. Its cumulative growth during April to October, 2018-19 was 5.4%. The Eight Core Industries comprise 40.27% of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP). The data was released by the government after market hours on Friday, 30 November 2018.

In the foreign exchange market, the rupee edged lower against the dollar. The partially convertible rupee was hovering at 70.17, compared with its close of 69.585 during the previous trading session.

In the global commodities markets, Brent for January 2019 settlement was up $2.35 at $61.81 a barrel. The contract had fallen 80 cents, or 1.34% to settle at $58.71 a barrel during the previous trading session.

Overseas, Asian and European stocks edged higher following a cease-fire on tariffs between Beijing and Washington at the Group of 20 meeting in Argentina over the weekend. Activity in China's factories grew slightly faster in November, a private gauge showed. The Caixin China manufacturing purchasing managers' index edged up to 50.2 in November from 50.1 in October, Caixin Media Co. and research firm Markit said Monday. The 50 level separates an expansion in manufacturing activity from a contraction.

Trading in US index futures indicated that the Dow could surge 495 points at the opening bell today, 3 December 2018. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping approved the deal on Saturday in Buenos Aires. It offers Beijing a reprieve from a planned increase in tariffs, scheduled for 1 January 2019, on $200 billion in Chinese goods exports to the US Tariffs were scheduled to rise to 25% from 10%. The postponement relies on progress in talks that both sides aim to complete in the next 90 days covering broader issues, including intellectual property protection.

US stocks ended higher Friday, as investors turned positive on the outlook for trade ahead of a meeting between the American and Chinese presidents.

On the data front, the MNI Chicago business barometer jumped 8 points to 66.4 in November to a 4½ year high, ending a streak of three straight declines. The survey is often seen as a bellwether for the broader US economy.

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