Sensex Flat, Nifty Struggles Around 9,600; Pharma Shares Gain

Indian shares opened slightly lower on Thursday after the March quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth came in lower than expectation at 6.1 per cent. The Sensex fell nearly 70 per cent while the Nifty shed as much as 20 points to fall below the 9,600 mark briefly. Hindalco Industries fell nearly 2 per cent extending Wednesday’s losses. It was the top loser in Nifty. Indiabulls Housing Finance, which rose over 4 per cent yesterday, witnessed some profit booking and shed 1.8 per cent. Infosys, which went ex-dividend today, was down 1.6 per cent to be among the top five Nifty losers. Infosys had declared a dividend of Rs. 14.75 per share.

Meanwhile, pharma stocks rebounded sharply after witnessing selling pressure last month. The Nifty Pharma sub-index of NSE was up 2.65 per cent. The pharma sub-index fell 8 per cent in May compared to 3.3 per cent gain in the broader Nifty. Among Nifty stocks, Aurobindo Pharma, Sun Pharma, Lupin, Cipla were among the top five gainers rising between 1.5-4.5 per cent.

As of 9:44 am, Sensex was up 15 points at 31,161 while the Nifty index traded 4 points higher at 9,625.
Elsewhere Asian shares traded flat on Thursday. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was flat after four sessions of losses as investors took profits after stocks hit a two-year high last week and as economic and geopolitical concerns continued to weigh on sentiment.

Chinese shares fell as much as 0.4 percent after a private survey showed the country’s manufacturing activity contracted in May for the first time in 11 months, contrasting with official data on Wednesday which suggested growth remained steady. (With agency inputs)

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