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Mid - Session Commentary
Weak market breadth
16-May-18   12:33 Hrs IST

Recovery continued on the bourses in early afternoon trade as the key benchmark indices cut further losses after an intraday slide. At 12:22 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 115.38 points or 0.32% at 35,428.56. The Nifty 50 index was down 46.60 points or 0.43% at 10,755.25. Most realty stocks gained. Telecom stocks saw mixed trend. Domestic stocks were weighed by political uncertainty in Karnataka and negative Asian stocks.

Local stocks began trading for the day on a weak note as US and Asian shares declined amid rising geopolitical tensions in the Korean peninsula. Key benchmark indices extended early slide and hit fresh intraday low in morning trade. Stocks pared losses in mid-morning trade.

The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index was down 0.14%. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index was down 0.13%. Both these indices outperformed the Sensex.

The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was weak. On the BSE, 1,557 shares fell and 831 shares rose. A total of 114 shares were unchanged.

Wipro (up 2.16%), Yes Bank (up 1.39%) and Tata Motors (up 0.79%) edged higher from the Sensex pack.

Most realty stocks gained. DLF (up 1.7%), Phoenix Mills (up 1.62%), D B Realty (up 0.29%), Godrej Properties (up 0.16%), Prestige Estates Projects (up 1.16%) and Oberoi Realty (up 0.28%) rose. Housing Development and Infrastructure (down 0.93%), Unitech (down 3.9%) and Sobha (down 0.71%) fell.

Indiabulls Real Estate jumped 9.59% after the company announced that a meeting of the board of directors of the company will be held on Friday, 18 May 2018, to consider the proposal of buyback of equity shares. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 15 May 2018.

Telecom stocks saw mixed trend. Bharti Airtel (up 0.21%) and Idea Cellular (up 1.04%) rose. MTNL (down 1.19%) and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) (down 3.36%) fell.

Shares of Bharti Infratel rose 0.83%. Bharti Infratel is a provider of tower and related infrastructure and is a unit of Bharti Airtel.

Reliance Communications lost 18.15% after an insolvency tribunal reportedly ordered bankruptcy proceedings against the telecom company on a petition filed by Ericsson.

According to reports, the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal on Tuesday, 15 May 2018, admitted three petitions filed against Reliance Communications (RCom) and its subsidiaries by Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. The latest development could affect RCom's deal to pare debt by selling its wireless assets to Reliance Jio Infocomm, media reports suggested.

Meanwhile, RCom clarified after market hours yesterday, 15 May 2018, that the company and two of its subsidiaries Reliance Telecom and Reliance Infratel, await the detailed orders of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Mumbai, allowing the Ericsson application for admitting the companies to debt resolution under IBC. The companies will decide the next course of action after studying the orders.

On the political front, Karnataka delivered a hung Assembly on Tuesday with no party getting a clear majority to form government in the state. While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged as the single-largest party, winning 104 seats, the Congress and the Janata Dal Secular (JDS) stood second and third with wins on 78 and 38 seats respectively. All eyes are now on Governor Vajubhai Vala as both the BJP and the post-poll combine of the Congress and the JDS have staked a claim to form the government.

Overseas, Asian stocks were trading lower as geopolitical developments and rising benchmark US yields spurred a return of risk aversion. North Korea canceled high-level talks with Seoul, denouncing military exercises between South Korea and the United States, breaking from several months of easing relations on the peninsula. This has also raised concerns about the planned summit between US President Donald Trump and his North Korean counterpart leader Kim Jong Un scheduled next month.

US stocks halted a four-day rally yesterday, 15 May 2018 with the steepest slide in almost two weeks as healthcare and tech shares retreated. Investors are weighing the prospect for higher Federal Reserve rates as strong US retail and factory data on Tuesday fueled bets the Fed may raise rates three more times this year.

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