The Sensex and the Nifty were trading in a narrow range with small gains in early afternoon trade. Positive Asian cues boosted indices, but rising COVID-19 cases capped gains. Pharma, IT and realty stocks were in demand.
At 12:26 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was up 63.17 points or 0.16% at 39,043.58. The Nifty 50 index rose 44.28 points or 0.38% at 11,560.35.
The broader market outperformed the benchmarks. The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was up 0.91% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index added 0.6%.
The market breadth was positive. On the BSE, 1390 shares rose and 1084 shares fell. A total of 178 shares were unchanged.
Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 249.82 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs), were net sellers to the tune of Rs 1,067.83 crore in the Indian equity market on 17 September, provisional data showed.
Total COVID-19 confirmed cases worldwide stood at 30,071,314 with 9,44,887 deaths. India reported 10,17,754 active cases of COVID-19 infection and 84,372 deaths while 41,12,551 patients have been discharged, according to the data from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India.
The Reserve Bank has decided to conduct purchase of Government securities under Open Market Operations (OMOs) for an aggregate amount of Rs 10,000 crores on 24 September 2020. Accordingly, RBI will purchase Government securities through a multi-security auction using the multiple price method. These include 6.97% GS 2026, 6.45% GS 2029 and 6.68% GS 2031 for Rs 10000 crores. The Reserve Bank reserves the right to decide on the quantum of purchase of individual securities.
The NSE's India VIX, a gauge of market's expectation of volatility over the near term, fell 3.29% to 19.4375. The Nifty September 2020 futures were trading at 11,568.85, at a premium of 10.2 points compared with the spot at 11,558.65.
The Nifty option chain for 24 September 2020 expiry showed maximum Call OI of 39.82 lakh contracts at the 11,600 strike price. Maximum Put OI of 45.66 lakh contracts was seen at 11,500 strike price.
The Nifty Realty index surged 3.1% to 229.40, rebounding from yesterday's 1.7% decline.
Oberoi Realty (up 8.08%), DLF (up 5.74%), Brigade Enterprises (up 3.93%), Sobha (up 2.95%), Sunteck Realty (up 1.4%) and Phoenix Mills (up 0.67%) were top gainers in realty index.
Stocks in Spotlight:
Cadila Healthcare jumped 5.52% to Rs 415.95 after the company received US drug regulator's final approval for Potassium Chloride extended-release tablets. Zydus Cadila has received final approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) to market Potassium Chloride extended-release tablets in the strengths of 750 mg and 1500 mg. The medication is a mineral supplement used to treat or prevent low amounts of potassium in the blood and will be manufactured at the group's formulation manufacturing facility at the SEZ, Ahmedabad.
Hindalco Industries rose 2.5% after the company on Thursday signed an agreement to procure copper concentrate from state-owned Hindustan Copper. HCL is the only producer of copper concentrate in India. Under this MoU, Hindalco will use about 60% of copper concentrate produced by Hindustan Copper. This partnership is a major step towards import substitution and reducing the nation's dependence on imported copper concentrate.