The News International Team
3:30 pm: Equities held on to their late gains, with both the Sensex and Nifty closing above key 28,000 and 8,400 marks.
At close, the Nifty rose 0.22 percent, or 19 points, to 8,401 while the Sensex gained 0.12 percent, or 34 points, to 28,067.
Early in the day, high beta shares edged lower, but several sectors such as banks and oil & gas staged a smart recovery to close in the green. Metals and capital goods, though, closed 0.8 percent lower.
But the best performers of the day were IT and pharma, both helped by a depreciation in the rupee.
Cipla jumped 3.2 percent after announcing it had tied up with Serum Institute of India to launch vaccines in Europe.
The IT pack got a further boost with Tech Mahindra rallying about 3 percent, amid speculation it would announce an acquisition at a press conference it has scheduled at 4 pm today.
While Tech Mah only said it would make a “strategic announcement”, traders zeroed in on MindTree (up 5.5 percent) and Geometric (up 9.5 percent) as possible takeover candidates.
Early on, some more M&A buzz doing the rounds was in the form of speculation Kotak Mahindra Bank (which climbed 7.4 percent) would take over ING Vysya Bank (up 7.8 percent).
Kotak issued a statement saying it had not taken any such decisions, a statement that not did not rule out the possibility of any such move either. A note by brokerage Nomura said ING’s SME focused lending book would gel well with Kotak’s largely retail-focused franchise.
In other sectors, sugar stocks witnessed profit booking after a much anticipated move by the government to incentivize exports did not come through. Leaders Balrampur, Bajaj Hindusthan and Shree Renuka sank 2.5 percent to 7.5 percent.
In individual stocks, Amtek Auto, Bosch and Strides Arcolabs surged 1.6 percent to 4.6 percent after being added to the NSE’s futures and options segment.
Indiabulls Securities climbed 9.6 percent after a subsidiary announced a Rs 600-crore real estate acquisition.
3:00 pm: Indian shares staged a late recovery to trade flat after being marginally lower for most part of the day.
At the time of this writing, the Sensex was up 0.08 percent, or 22 points, to 28,050 while the Nifty was up 0.1 percent, or 9 points, to 8,391.
Traders said they will now see whether the Nifty will close above the 8,400 level where it has encountered technical resistance over the past few days.
Among sector movers, IT and pharma shares were broadly higher, benefiting from the depreciation in the Indian rupee beyond 62 to the US dollar.
While metals, capital goods, banks and auto were down between 0.4 percent and 0.8 percent.
In smaller sectors, sugar and logistics were down significantly following a sizzling rally over the past few weeks. While steel and textiles gained ground.
Among individual stocks, Kotak Mahindra Bank remains the biggest gainer from among the Nifty stocks, up 7.1 percent amid speculation it was going to take over ING Vysya Bank.
Jindal Steel & Power was down 3.7 percent a day after the government issued draft regulations for auction of coal blocks, in whose cancellation during the Coalgate scam, JPSL was seen as the worst hit.