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Home / Markets / Stock Markets /  Sensex trades marginally lower, Nifty near 17,800; IRCTC plummets 25%

Asian stock markets are trading on a mixed note on Friday as traders weighed bond-market gyrations on concerns over inflation and monetary tightening.

Japan's factory output shrank for the third straight month in September as the auto sector was hit by a persistent global supply shortage, raising the risk of an economic contraction in the third quarter and throwing recovery into doubt.

The Hang Seng is down 0.6%, while the Shanghai Composite is trading on a flat note. The Nikkei is trading higher by 0.4%.

In US stock markets, Wall Street indices closed higher on Thursday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq boasting record closing levels thanks to gains in Apple and Amazon, while solid results from companies including Caterpillar and Merck helped ease concerns about slowing economic growth denting profits.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 240 points while the Nasdaq Composite added 212 points, or 1.4%.

Back home, Indian share markets are currently trading marginally lower.

Benchmark indices have recovered from day’s low but are still trading in red as energy stocks have come under pressure. 

The BSE Sensex is trading down by 271 points. Meanwhile, the NSE Nifty is trading lower by 67 points.

The Sensex tanked over 800 points to 59,104 levels, while the Nifty fell to as low as 17,613-mark in intraday trade.

Shares of IRCTC dropped 25% after the Railway Minister asked the company to share 50% of the convenience fee on train tickets with the ministry.

Tata Steel and ITC are among the top gainers today. HDFC, on the other hand, is among the top losers today.

Both, the BSE Mid Cap index and the BSE small cap index are trading on a flat note. 

Sectoral indices are trading mixed with stocks in the metal sector and realty sector witnessing buying interest.

Energy stocks, on the other hand, are trading in red.

Shares of Bajaj Holdings and Minda Corporation hit their 52-week highs today.

The rupee is trading at 74.79 against the US$.

Gold prices are trading down by 0.3% at 47,821 per 10 grams.

Meanwhile, silver is trading down by 0.5% at 64,601 per kg.

In news from the pharma sector, Natco Pharma and Hetero have sought marketing authorization for their anti-covid drug molnupiravir from the drug regulator.

The Hyderabad-based company has conducted Phase-III trials of molnupiravir and submitted the trial results to the drug regulator this month.

Reportedly, the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) under the drug regulator is likely to take up their applications soon.

Hetero has also completed phase-III clinical trials on 1,218 mild covid-19 patients to assess the efficacy and safety of this drug and applied for emergency use authorization (EUA).

During its trials, the company found fewer hospital admissions in molnupiravir group compared with standard care alone. 

The drug was initially developed by US-based Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, who later partnered with Merck & Co for further development.

Molnupiravir is a new oral treatment for individuals diagnosed with covid-19 infection. The experimental antiviral drug is also being evaluated by the USFDA for its effectiveness and safety.

In India, Merck & Co. has signed voluntary licensing agreements with Cipla, Dr Reddy’s Lab, Emcure Pharmaceuticals, Hetero Labs and Sun Pharma, for allowing the drug to be manufactured and marketed in India.

Natco has not entered into a licensing agreement with Merck.

Natco Pharma shares are trading lower by 0.6%.

To know more, check out Natco Pharma’s 2020-21 annual report analysis.

Moving on to news from the power sector, NTPC on Thursday reported an 8.4% year-on-year (y-o-y) fall in its net profit to 32.1 billion for the quarter ended September.

This was lower than what the market was expecting.

The company’s bottomline was affected by an increase in costs, a decrease in other income and a rise in tax expenses during the reported quarter.

India’s largest power generator reported a 14.75 y-o-y rise in revenues to 283.3 billion.

The surge in revenues during the quarter was helped by a rise in demand for power due to the rapid reopening of the economy post the second wave and rising vaccination rate.

NTPC’s other income fell 30% y-o-y to 9.4 billion. Meanwhile, tax expenses climbed 89% y-o-y to 9.6 billion.

During the quarter, NTPC dished out 166.4 billion on fuel for its power plants as compared with 130.4 billion in the year-ago quarter. 

The jump in cost was largely due to higher coal prices during the quarter given the ongoing shortage.

NTPC increased its consolidated installed capacity by 3,990 MW during the first half of this year from 62,910 MW to 66,900 in this quarter. Of this, it commissioned 3,830 MW thermal power capacity and discontinued its thermal plant of 460 MW at Talcher.

The shortage of coal that has been witnessed across countries pushed the company towards coal from its own mines. The company produced 2.02 million metric tonnes (MMT) more coal in this quarter from 0.77 MMT produced last year. On a quarterly basis, the coal production was more by 0.33 MMT.

NTPC shares are currently trading down by 1.4%.

Speaking of the power sector, it's interesting to note the power exchanged in India is about 4.5% of the overall power production, as can be seen in the chart below.

Source: company
View Full Image
Source: company

As per Tanushree Banerjee, co-head of research at Equitymaster, India's power sector is currently in transition. It is driven by increasing reliance on short-term contracts and electricity spot markets.

This transition to the short-term market is happening due to quickly evolving industry dynamics.

Tanushree believes the Indian power sector will see a surge in spot power volumes due to certain factors.

This article is syndicated from Equitymaster.com

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