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McClatchy-Tribune  09/02/2014 4:35 AM ET
Sensex, Nifty hit record highs; Cipla, Bharti Airtel gain [Mint, New Delhi :: ]

Sept. 02--MUMBAI -- Benchmark equity indices Sensex and Nifty touched a record high on Tuesday morning, after current account deficit (CAD) narrowed sharply.

CAD, or the sum of the balance of trade and invisibles such as remittances and software earnings, fell to $7.8 billion, or 1.7% of gross domestic product (GDP), in the June quarter from 4.8% of GDP, or $21.8 billion, in the year-ago period. However, it was higher than 0.2% of GDP or $1.2 billion in fourth quarter (January-March) of 2013-14.

In morning trade, Sensex hit an all-time high of 26,999.97, while Nifty hit a lifetime high of 8,072.20.

At 12.16pm, the Sensex was trading higher by 0.42%, or 112.24 points, at 26,979.79 points, while the National Stock Exchange's broader barometer 50-share Nifty was trading up 0.49%, or 39.25 points, at 8,066.95 points.

The gainers included Cipla Ltd, which rose 6.7% to Rs.565.15 after it reported that it has launched an anti-asthma inhaler in Germany and Sweden that is a generic version of GlaxoSmithKline Plc's Advair, a move that will further dent sales of the British firm's top-selling product. Bharti Airtel Ltd gained 3.2% to Rs.388 after the company said that its arm signed an agreement to acquire over 2.7 million subscribers of yuMobile.

Among the losers, Sesa Sterlite Ltd fell 1.4% to Rs.279 and Hindustan Unilever Ltd fell 1.2% to Rs.731.20.

The BSE healthcare index was the top sectoral gainer, up 2%, followed by BSE realty and consumer durables indices, which were trading up 1.3% and 0.8% respectively. The BSE Teck and Bankex were trading up 0.5% each. BSE metal index was the top sectoral losers, down 0.7%.

Power Finance Corp. Ltd (PFC) fell 2.2% to Rs.256.60, while Rural Electrification Corp. Ltd (REC) slipped 2.7% to Rs.271.50. The government on Monday invited bids from investment banks to manage planned share sales in PFC and REC, which could raise a combined $515 million. The government, which owns 72.8% in PFC and 65.64% in REC, plans to sell 5% in each, the finance ministry's divestment department said in a notice on its website.

Hero MotoCorp Ltd rose 1.8% to Rs.2,810.30 after it reported a 21.43% increase in its total sales at 5,58,609 units in August, compared with 4,59,996 units in the same month last year.

Since the beginning of this year, the Sensex has gained 27.43%, while foreign institutional investors have bought $12.91 billion from local equity markets.

On Monday, the government requested the Supreme Court that 46 coal mines could be conditionally exempted from de-allocation. The final decision in the coal block allocations case is likely on 9 September.

India's core sector or infrastructure output growth slowed to a three-month low of 2.7% in July, dragged down by a contraction in production of natural gas, steel, fertilisers and refinery products after rising 7.3% in June.

A monthly meeting of the European Central Bank (ECB) is scheduled for 4 September, and there are expectations that the ECB will announce quantitative easing in the coming months to strengthen growth in the euro zone, which may boost market sentiment.

Asian markets were trading mixed on Tuesday after official manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) in China fell to 51.1 in August from 51.7, the first fall since February. China's Shanghai Composite gained 0.13%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.65% and Japan's Nikkei Stock Average advanced 1.3%.

Wall Street indices were closed on Monday due to the Labour Day holiday.

European markets were mixed after a round of gloomy manufacturing surveys from across the globe. The euro-zone's PMI fell to a 13-month low of 50.7 in August from 51.8 in the previous month. All eyes are on the European Central Bank (ECB) meeting for cues on more monetary easing.


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