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Shares extend early losses; Nifty below 8400
01-Apr-20   10:31 Hrs IST

Key benchmark indices extended early losses and hit fresh intraday low in morning trade. The Nifty slipped below the crucial 8400 mark. Trading was volatile due to expiry of weekly index options.

At 10:30 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 774.01 points or 2.63% at 28,694.48. The Nifty 50 index was down 221.5 points or 2.58% at 8,376.25.

In the broader market, the S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was down 0.38% while the S&P BSE Small-Cap index was up 0.37%. The decline in both these indices was lower than the Sensex.

The market breadth was positive. On the BSE, 929 shares rose and 680 shares fell. A total of 87 shares were unchanged.

Economy:

The government's fiscal deficit touched 135.2% of the full-year target at February-end, according to an official data released on Tuesday. In actual terms, the fiscal deficit or the gap between expenditure and revenue was Rs 10,36,485 crore, the data by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) showed.

The output of Eight Core Industries, carrying 40.27% weight in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), increased by 5.5% in February 2020 while output increased 1% in April to February 2019-20.

Meanwhile, the interest rate on small savings scheme has been cut. The Public Provident Fund will now offer 7.1%, after an 80 basis points cut in its interest rate. The interest rate on National Savings Certificate has been slashed by 110 bps to 6.8%. The interest rate on Kisan Vikas Patra has also been cut by 70 bps to 6.9%.

Buzzing Index:

Shares of most city gas distributors advanced after the government cut domestic gas price cut by 26% to $2.39 per MMBtu.

Adani Gas, (up 1.33%), Gail (India) (up 0.98%) and Mahanagar Gas (up 0.31%) were top gainers in gas distribution segment.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has lowered the price of domestically produced natural gas to $2.39 per million British thermal unit (MMBtu). This price will be applicable from 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020. The new price is 35.23% lower than the $3.69 MMBtu natural gas price for the 1 April 2019 to 30 September 2019 period. It is lower by 26% as compared to $3.23 MMBtu, the natural gas price for the 1 October 2019 to 31 March 2020 period. The ceiling price allowed for gas to be produced from difficult fields has also been lowered to $5.61/MMBtu from $8.43/MMBtu during the 1 October 2019 to 31 March 2020 period

Stocks in Spotlight:

GM Breweries jumped 7.55% to Rs 332.45 on securing a licence to manufacture hand sanitizers from Food and Drugs Administration, Thane, Maharashtra in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak. The company said it would soon commence the production of hand sanitizers on commercial basis.

Jubilant Life Sciences informed that it has received an Establishment Inspection Report (EIR) with Voluntary Action Indicated (VAI) status from the USFDA for its solid dosage facility at Salisbury, Maryland, USA. ith the receipt of the EIR, the inspection stands successfully closed. The disclosure was released after trading hours yesterday, 31 March 2020. Shares of Jubilant Life Sciences were up 8.1% at Rs 269.

Spandana Sphoorty Financial informed that it has completed direct assignment of micro-finance loans of Rs 490.23 crore on 30 March 2020. With this, a total amount of Rs 1,261.96 crore has been raised during the quarter (Q4 FY2019-20) in the form of direct assignment, the company said in an exchange filing made after market hours yesterday. The entire direct assignment pool qualifies for priority sector treatment as per the guidelines prescribed by the Reserve Bank of India. Shares of Spandana Sphoorty were down 1.92% at Rs 575.90 on BSE.

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