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Sensex slips 600 pts; ICICI Bank, Reliance, HDFC slump

12:00

The News International Team

12:50pm Coal India chairman speaks

Ramping up output and improving profitability will be the top-most priorities for state-run Coal India’s new Chairman Sutirtha Bhattacharya, although he admits that the coal production target of 925 million tonnes by 2019-20 is a huge challenge.

“For any commercial business entity, what matters most is the bottom line. I intend to steer the company with a three-pronged agenda,” Bhattacharya said.

“Coal India’s major challenge is to meet the rising demand from the power sector. The company is doing its best to see that power utilities in the country do not suffer for want of coal,” Bhattacharya told PTI in an interview.

Bhattacharya took charge as CIL chairman yesterday, a day before a five-day strike began in the coal industry.

“There is no single silver-bullet solution to the challenges, except for actively pursuing them at appropriate levels for expeditious action,” he said, while adding that he will work with twin priorities of “ramping up coal production and increasing coal supplies to consumers.”

12:40pm SML Isuzu in demand

SML Isuzu sold 1073 vehicles during December, 2014 against 660 vehicles sold in December, 2013.

The stock surged 8 percent to Rs 968.75 amid high volumes on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

12:30pm Apollo Hospitals Enterprises in focus

Apollo Health and Lifestyle, wholly owned subsidiary of Apollo Hospitals Enterprises, completed the acquisition of Nova Specialty Hospitals.

Apollo Hospitals says Apollo Health-Nova Speciality deal was in the range of Rs 135-145 crore.

Apollo Health and Lifestyle is currently present in the secondary care segment throught the day surgery and cradle formats. “Given the immense potential and the need for quality healthcare delivery closer to the home, this acquisition will enable Apollo Health and Lifestyle to significantly expand its’ footprint and will catapult it into a leadership position in this segment of healthcare,” said Sangita Reddy, Joint MD, Apollo Hospitals.

12:20pm HSBC PMI

Services sector activity in India expanded in December, but at a slower pace as firms received lesser number of new orders as compared to the previous month, a monthly HSBC survey said today.

In November, the sector had recorded fastest pace of expansion in five months.

The HSBC India Services Business Activity Index, which tracks changes in activity at Indian services companies on a month-by-month basis, stood at 51.1 in December — down from 52.6 in the previous month, indicating a moderate expansion in business activity in December.

A score above 50 indicates that the sector is expanding, while a figure below that level means contraction, reports Reuters.

12:10pm Market Expert

Global tremors are having an impact on local markets, but fundamentals of Indian economy and earnings still remain intact, says Dipan Mehta, Member, BSE & NSE.

However, Mehta feels that markets are at good levels to enter India-focussed bluechip companies and expects private banks, NBFCs and country-centric sectors to give higher returns

He expects market to drift lower over the next week and is underweight on commodities, oil and gas companies.

12:00pm Market Check

The market is in risk-off mode as the Nifty corrected more than 150 points and the Sensex lost over 600 points intraday in a broad-based sell-off. The broader markets too saw a cut of 1.5 percent.

Weak global cues weighed on the market. Asian markets took cues from a weak close in the US last night. All of Asia except Shanghai saw deep cuts as uncertainty over Greece and lower oil prices spook equities.

The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 613.07 points or 2.20 percent to 27229.25 and the 50-share NSE Nifty shed 177.30 points or 2.12 percent to 8201.10. About three shares declined for every share advancing on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Crude prices continued to languish at five-and-half-year lows. Brent crude traded just above the USD 53 a barrel while Nymex crude was at USD 50 per barrel. Oil stocks like ONGC and Cairn saw a cut of more than 3 percent each.

Tata Motors traded with a cut of 3.5 percent after the company reported it’s JLR sales. US sales for JLR rose 1.8 percent for December with Jaguar sales up 9 percent and Land Rover sales marginally down 0.2 percent.

Telecom stocks remained in focus as the Cabinet decided on the 800, 900 and 1800 mega-hertz reserve prices. Morgan Stanley says it expects 900 mhz auctions to happen at 4 times the 1800 mhz 2014 price. Idea has highest risk as 92 percent of its 900 mhz holding coming up for auction. Bharti airtel has relatively less spectrum coming up for renewal.

ICICI Bank, HDFC and Reliance Industries are the biggest contributors to the fall, down 3 percent each. Infosys, L&T, Sun Pharma and TCS dropped 2 percent each. ITC declined over a percent while HUL, the only gainer on Sensex, gained 0.2 percent.

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