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Nifty slips below 5,600

SI Reporter/Mumbai 20 Nov 12 | 11:35 AM

Indian shares pared early morning gains with Nifty slipping below key 5,600 support levels on selling pressure witnessed in the BSE-technology index which rose over 1% in this month. Drug makers such as Sun Pharmaceuticals and Cipla also fell on caution ahead of group of ministers meet on drug-pricing policy this Wednesday but losses were capped on back of buying in auto and power stocks.

At 11:35AM, the Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensex index was up 67 points to 18,405.39 while the National Stock Exchange's Nifty index gained 22 points to 5,592.10 levels.

Global risk appetite remained firm on hopes US lawmakers will reach a deal to avert $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts due to start in January - the "fiscal cliff" that threatens to send the US economy back into recession.

In US, Standard & Poor's 500 index posted its biggest gain since November 6, after housing data boosted optimism that the world’s largest economy is recovering.

Mirroring the optimism, Asian markets gained too. Hang Seng was up 176 points at 21,438, Nikkei advanced 8 points to 9,162, Seoul Composite jumped 11 points to 1,889 and the Taiwan Weighted was up 25 points at 7,154.

Back home, on the sectoral front, fast moving consumer goods, automobiles, power and metal index on BSE rose between 0.2-0.8% each while technology and software makers were among the laggards, falling between 0.2-0.4% in the late morning trades.

Among the losers, Infosys fell 1.5% while HCL Technologies dropped 1%. Cipla and Sun Pharmaceuticals, fell 0.2% and 1% respectively.

The group of ministers (GoM) on the proposed National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy, headed by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, would meet on Wednesday to discuss concerns raised by the finance ministry. The industry, which is opposed to the cost-plus pricing mechanism, is worried over the uncertainty.

On the gaining side, HDFC, country's biggest mortgage lender jumped 2.6%. In the auto segment, passenger car makers Mahindra & Mahindra and Maruti Suzuki were up 0.5-1.5% each on the BSE on hopes of higher sales in November in wake of the demand pick up during the festival season.

Among other notable movers, Eicher Motors is trading higher by 3% to Rs 2,402 on back of heavy volumes after Swedish truck, bus and earth-moving equipment maker Volvo proposed to invest around Rs 1,800 crore in joint venture company, VE Commercial Vehicles.

Multi Commodity Exchange of India (MCX) has rallied over 4% to Rs 1,541 after the country's newest stock exchange MCX Stock Exchange (MCX-SX) conducted mock testing session for its capital market segment on Monday to familiarise participants with this new trading platform.
Financial Technologies India, the owner of MCX and MCX-SX also gained 3.5% in late morning trades.

Reliance Capital Ltd, the financial services provider, jumped 2% on reports company is planning to sell 26% equity in its general insurance arm to a foreign partner, and may further sell stake in life insurance and mutual fund units.

SKS Microfinance Ltd, surged 5% after overseas investors raised their stake in SKS Microfinance to an all-time high of 31.77% in the July-September quarter from earlier 8.33%.

Shares of companies engaged in gems and jewellery business have continue at their upward march and trading higher by up to 20% on the BSE on hopes of higher demand in coming months.

Vaibhav Gems, C Mahendra Exports, Shrenuj & Co, Thangamayil Jewellery, Tribuhovandas Bhimji Zaveri (TBZ), Shree Ganesh Jewellery House and Renaissance Jewellery are trading higher by 6-20% on the BSE.

The BSE mid-cap and small-cap indices also rose between 0.2-0.3% each.

The overall breadth is positive as 1,228 stocks have advanced while 1,114 stocks declined.

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