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Gland Pharma will open for listing today. REUTERS/Kham/File Photo (REUTERS)
Gland Pharma will open for listing today. REUTERS/Kham/File Photo (REUTERS)

Markets seen under pressure amid virus concerns; Vodafone Idea in focus

  • Asian shares staged a mixed open and futures for the S&P 500 fell 0.66%, erasing the firmer lead from a strong Wall Street session overnight

MUMBAI: Indian stock markets may be under pressure on Friday, while trends in SGX Nifty suggest a flat opening for domestibenchmark indices.

On Thursday, Sensex and Nifty hit a fresh record high but erased all its gains and closed nearly 1.3% lower dragged down by banking and financial stocks. The BSE Sensex ended at 43,599.96, down 580.09 points or 1.31%. The Nifty closed at 12,771.70, down 166.55 points or 1.29%.

Global stocks came under pressure on Friday after US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called for an end to pandemic relief for struggling businesses, sparking a rare clash between the central bank and Treasury and weighing on sentiment.

Asian shares staged a mixed open and futures for the S&P 500 fell 0.66%, erasing the firmer lead from a strong Wall Street session overnight.

US markets had previously rallied after Senate Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had agreed to revive talks to craft a new fiscal relief package.

However, that sentiment faded after Treasury Secretary Mnuchin later asked the Federal Reserve to return money earmarked under the March pandemic relief act for emergency lending to businesses, nonprofits and local governments. That would mark an end on 31 December to most of the crisis-response programs the Fed deemed vital to keeping the economy stable.

Investor sentiment was also tinged by data that showed covid-19 hospitalizations across the US jumped by nearly 50% in the last two weeks, threatening the recovery of the world's largest economy as cities and states began to impose lockdowns.

Back home, the merger of Bharti Infratel and Indus Towers to create a mega tower company has been completed, and Vodafone Idea has received 3,760.1 crore cash for its 11.15% holding in Indus, a regulatory filing said on Thursday. Vodafone Group will hold 28.12% stake in the merged entity, while the holding of Airtel Group will be about 36.7%.

Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has for the time being completed inducting partners and raising funds for Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL), it said on Thursday. “RRVL received cumulative subscription of 47,265 crore from financial partners and allotted a 10.09% stake (or 69.27 million shares) to them," it said.

Pharma shares may take cues from Serum Institute Adar Poonawalla's comments that it may sell Covishield, the covid-19 vaccine being developed by Oxford University, for around 500-600 per dose in the private market, more than twice the $3 (around 220) per shot it will cost the government.

Meanwhile, the deadline for suggestions and objections to Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) draft scheme of amalgamation of Lakshmi Vilas Bank with DBS Bank India Ltd ends today.

In primary market, Gland Pharma will open for listing today. The company launched its IPO during 9-11November, which was subscribed 2.06 times. The company raised 6,480 crore via public issue. It has fixed final issue price at 1,500 per share.

In the US, Treasury yields slipped on the news of Mnuchin's letter to Fed Chair Jerome Powell, which came out after Wall Street closed. The yield on the benchmark 10-year note was last at 0.842%. U.S. stock futures also fell 0.84% when trading resumed.

Oil prices reversed losses and edged higher in after-market trade, after Brent settled down 0.3% at $44.20 per barrel with U.S. crude 0.2% lower at $41.70.

(Reuters contributed to the story)

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