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Sensex cracks 500 pts; IT, Auto, Metal, Oil indices fall 2%

10:00

The News International Team

10:55am Interview

Following a sharp slowdown over the past two years, thanks to weak economic environment, sales of commercial vehicles have firmly bottomed out and are in revival mode, according to Vinod Aggarwal, chief executive officer of VE Commercial Vehicles.

“All segments in commercial vehicles have bottomed out,” Aggarwal told CNBC-TV18 in an interview. “In the last quarter, heavy-duty truck volumes grew 16 percent while buses grew 10 percent.”

VE, a 50:50 joint venture between Sweden’s Volvo and India’s Eicher Motors, enjoys a 32 percent market share in light motor vehicles and a 15 percent market share in buses.

10:45am Indian Crude Basket, HSBC PMI

Indian crude basket fell by USD 2.92 to USD 51.53 a barrel following sharp fall in global crude oil prices last night.

India HSBC services PMI declined to 51.1 in December compared to 52.6 in previous month while HSBC Composite PMI slipped to 52.9 versus 53.6 during the same period.

10:40am Gold Update

Gold prices firmed above USD 1,200 an ounce today, as tumbling global equities and concerns over Greece’s future in the euro zone prompted investors to seek safety in the metal.

Asian shares took a hit today from sliding oil prices and political uncertainty in Greece. On Monday, both the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 suffered their biggest one-day declines in about three months.

There is increasing speculation that Greece might exit the euro zone if a left-wing party that has vowed to end austerity measures and erase a big portion of its debt wins Jan. 25 elections as widely expected.

Spot gold had ticked up 0.1 percent to USD 1,205.40 an ounce by 0325 GMT, adding to the previous session’s 1.3-percent gain, reports Reuters.

10:30am Jubilant Life shares in demand

Jubilant Life Sciences, an integrated pharmaceuticals and life sciences company,
received abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) final approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) for Mycophenolate Mofetil and Rizatriptan tablets.

Mycophenolate Mofetil USP is the generic version of Cellcept (of Roche), an immunosuppressant which is used to help prevent organ rejection in transplants. The current annualized US market size for Mycophenolate Mofetil USP, 250 mg
capsules and 500 mg tablets as per IMS is USD 245 million.

Rizatriptan Tablets 5 mg and 10 mg is the generic version of Maxalt (of Merck), used for the treatment of migraine. The current annualized US market size for Rizatriptan tablets 5 mg and 10 mg as per IMS is USD 70 million.

10:20am Market Expert

It is still early days of an economic recovery, but an upturn is definitely underway, feels Saurabh Mukherjea of Ambit Capital.

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Mukherjea said the big picture was encouraging and his firm remained “comfortable buyers” of the India story.

“The economy is recovering, policy making is happening in full throttle,” he said, adding he was not too worried about the ongoing global sell off, because India’s strong underlying fundamentals would help it bounceback quickly.

He expects the Budget session of Parliament to be a much more productive one than the Winter session, with 4 important ordinances likely to become law.

Mukherjea said he did not expect the government to take up land reforms so soon. By doing so, it has sent out a powerful signal to India Inc about its intention to push key reforms.

Mukherjea expects the GST Bill to be passed in at least one House of the Parliament in the Budget session.

10:10am Stocks in Action 

Shares of ICICI Bank, Infosys, Tata Motors, HDFC, Reliance Industries, L&T, ONGC, Axis Bank, Wipro, Sesa Sterlite, Hero Motocorp, Dr Reddy’s Labs, Tata Steel, Cipla, NTPC, Hindalco and Tata Power plunged 2-3.5 percent.

Globally, Asian markets like Shanghai, Hang Seng, Nikkei, Straits Times, Kospi and Taiwan Weighted dropped 1-3 percent. European markets too are likely to see sharp fall in opening trade.

Brent crude oil prices edged up by 0.4 percent to USD 53.32 a barrel currently after seeing a 5 percent fall in previous session while US crude rose 0.3 percent to USD 50.20 a barrel.

10:00am Market Check

Equity benchmarks as well as broader markets slipped around 2 percent each on weak global cues post sharp fall in crude oil prices last night. The 30-share BSE Sensex tanked 534.00 points to 27308.32 and the 50-share NSE Nifty lost 159.15 points to 8219.25.

More than four shares declined for every share advancing on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Shane Lee of CIMB, said he expects the focus to be more on the bad news of oil price decline and concerns in Europe during this period of volatility.

Though Lee sees the current situation as a buying opportunity in India, he feels the emerging markets will underperform developed markets.

All sectoral indices traded in red with the BSE Auto, Capital Goods, IT, Metal, Oil & Gas, Power and Realty indices declined over 2 percent while Bank and Healthcare dropped 1.8 percent each.

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