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Market slides for 2nd day; Nifty settles below 22,150
(15:54, 26 Feb 2024)
The domestic equity indices ended with modest losses on Monday, declining for second consecutive trading session. The Nifty closed below 22,150 mark. Oil & Gas, auto and realty stocks advanced while IT, metal and consumer durables shares declined.

As per provisional closing data, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex down 352.67 points or 0.48% to 72,790.13. The Nifty 50 index lost 90.65 points or 0.41% to 22,122.05.

In the broader market, The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index declined 0.38% and the S&P BSE Small-Cap index shed 0.06%.

The market breadth was negative. On the BSE, 1,710 shares rose and 2,268 shares fell. A total of 130 shares were unchanged.

The NSE's India VIX, a gauge of market's expectation of volatility over the near term, jumped 4.19% to 15.60.

Economy:

India?s forex reserves declined $5.24 billion to $617.23 billion for the week ended 9 February 2024, according to the latest RBI data. The forex kitty stood at $622.5 billion for the week ended 2 February 2024.

The reserves had peaked in October 2021, when kitty had reached $ 645 billion. In the current financial year 2023-24, the forex reserves have increased $50.28 billion, the RBI data showed.

Foreign currency assets, which constitute the largest component of the reserves, dropped $4.07 billion to $546.52 billion during the week under review, as per the latest data. The country?s reserve position with the IMF also declined $28 million to $48.32 billion in the reporting week.

IPO Update:

The initial public offer (IPO) of GPT Healthcare received bids for 14,29,61,200 shares as against 1,97,63,327 shares on offer, according to stock exchange data at 15:33 IST on Monday (26 February 2024). The issue was subscribed 7.23 times.

The issue opened for bidding on Thursday (22 February 2024) and it will close on Monday (26 February 2024). The price band of the IPO is fixed at Rs 176 to Rs 186 per share. An investor can bid for a minimum of 80 equity shares and in multiples thereof.

Buzzing Index:

The Nifty IT index advanced 1.17% to 37,598.65. The index fell 1.39% in the two trading sessions.

Persistent Systems (down 2.68%), Tech Mahindra (down 2%), Mphasis (down 1.75%), LTIMindtree (down 1.4%), Tata Consultancy Services (down 1.26%), Infosys (down 1%), HCL Technologies (down 0.98%), Wipro (down 0.87%), Coforge (down 0.44%) and L&T Technology Services (down 0.4%) declined.

Stocks in Spotlight:

Alkem Laboratories dropped 7.43% on reports that the income tax department's investigation into pharma major has found large-scale tax evasion by the company.

Last September, the income tax department surveyed Alkem Laboratories' offices due to suspected tax evasion. The investigation reportedly revealed alleged excessive deductions totaling over Rs 1,000 crore, particularly from manufacturing units in Sikkim. Additionally, the company made substantial payments to doctors for prescriptions, amounting to hundreds of crores. These findings may result in significant penalties for Alkem Labs, the media reports suggested.

Larsen & Toubro advanced 2.37% after the civil construction firm?s construction arm secured a ?significant order? for its Railways Strategic Business Group, to construct the Jakarta Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project (phase 2A).

Kotak Mahindra Bank shed 0.99%. In respect of the proposed acquisition of the shares of Kotak Mahindra General Insurance Company (Kotak General) by Zurich Insurance Company (Zurich), the parties to the aforesaid transaction, viz., the Bank, Zurich and Kotak General have mutually agreed that Zurich will acquire 70% stake in Kotak General by way of a combination of primary and secondary acquisitions in a single tranche, for a total consideration of approximately Rs 5,560 crore.

Piramal Pharma shed 0.07%. The pharma major said that US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) conducted a pre-approval inspection (PAI) at its Lexington facility, USA. The inspection was conducted from 20 February to 23 February, 2024 at Lexington facility, USA. At the end of inspection, USFDA issued Form-483 with 2 observations.

SBEC Sugar was locked in 10% upper circuit after the company announced that it has repaid its entire loan of Rs 201 crore along with interest thereon taken from the U.P. Co-operative Bank.

Transformers and Rectifiers (India) was locked in an upper circuit of 5% after the company said that it has received an order worth Rs 232 crore from Power Grid Corporation of India.

SJVN advanced 1.47% after the company said that its wholly owned subsidiary, SJVN Green Energy has signed a power usage agreement (PUA) with Jammu & Kashmir Power Corporation (JKPCL) for 300 megawatt (MW) solar power capacity.

Gensol Engineering rose 1.87% after the company announced the award of two significant EPC contracts, underscoring our commitment to India's renewable energy sector.

Aditya Birla Capital rose 1.15% after the company announced that it has made an investment of Rs 50 crore in its wholly owned subsidiary, Aditya Birla Capital Digital (ADBCDL) on right basis.

Global Markets:

European shares advanced while most of the Asian stocks declined on Monday as investors awaited the monthly personal consumption expenditures price index, the U.S Federal Reserve?s preferred inflation gauge, which is due on Thursday.

Japan?s Nikkei 225 index hit a fresh record high Monday as traders returned from a long weekend. Investors will focus on a slew of economic data expected this week including China?s manufacturing purchasing managers? index.

In US, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average eked out record closing high on Friday, as artificial intelligence stocks had enough steam to keep the rally chugging along.

Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams reportedly said in an interview published Friday that the economy is headed in the right direction, and it will likely be appropriate to cut rates later this year.

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