Sensex ends flat amid Sun Pharma woes, easing trade concerns

Bombay Stock Exchange.

Mumbai, ┬áHeavy sell-off in the healthcare stocks led by Sun Pharmaceuticals kept the key equity indices subdued for most part of the Friday’s trading session, before positive global markets helped them recover and close on a flat note.

Globally, most Asian markets closed on a positive note, while European indices including TSE 100, DAX and CAC 40 also traded in the green on signs of easing US-Sino trade tensions.

Stocks across the globe advanced after it was reported that US officials are considering lifting some tariffs on Chinese products in an effort to elicit more concessions from China for a bilateral trade deal and to stabilize the financial markets, said Abhijeet Dey of BNP Paribas Mutual Fund.

BSE Healthcare index tanked 2 per cent, while telecom scrips also witnessed heavy selling pressure, losing over 3 per cent.

BSE Sensex closed higher 12.53 points, or 0.03 per cent, after touching a high of 36,469.98 and a low of 36,218.33 points.

The benchmark index opened higher on Friday, at 36,417.58 from its previous close of 36,374.08 points.

The broader NSE Nifty50 also ended in the green, up by a meagre 4.80 points, or 0.04 per cent.

Stocks-wise, Sun Pharma ended up as the top loser on Sensex. The scrip price declined to Rs 390.50 apiece, losing Rs 36.65, or 8.58 per cent, from its previous close of Rs 427.15.

The pharmaceutical major had tanked over 12 per cent at one point over reports of a complaint by a whistleblower against the company.

On Thursday, Sun Pharma declined 5 per cent, finishing as the top laggard on the 30-stock Sensex.

“Sun Pharma came under selling pressure following media reports of a complaint by a whistleblower to the Securities and Exchange Board of India or SEBI, raising fresh concerns over corporate governance in the company,” said Deepak Jasani of HDFC Securities.

Jasani added that investors were at a loss as to what the complaint is all about or how will that impact the company’s operations or its stock price. Some traders took this as a bottomfishing opportunity, while others stayed away till the dust settles.

“Fundamentally, some brokerages had become bullish on the stock over the past few days, but their calls seem to have misfired at least temporarily,” Jasani said.

Other major losers on Sensex were Bharti Airtel, which slipped over 6 per cent, followed by Larsen and Toubro, Axis Bank and Yes Bank, all of which closed lower in the range of 1 to 2 per cent.

In contrast, the top gainer among the 30 scrips on Sensex was Reliance Industries, which jumped over 4 per cent after it reported a healthy third quarter result on Thursday.

RIL was followed by Kotak Mahindra, HCL Technologies, ONGC and Asian Paints, all of which gained up to 1.50 per cent.

On the currency front, the Indian rupee depreciated 13 paise against the US dollar, to 71.18 per US dollar from the previous close of 71.05.

In terms of investments, both foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net sellers. While FIIs offloaded shares worth Rs 124.91 crore, DIIs sold Rs 0.97 crore worth of stocks on Friday.