Sensex, Nifty tick up, but Trump comments spark worries for pharma sector

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 12, 2017 12:46 hrs
People watch a large screen displaying India's benchmark share index on the facade of BSE building in Mumbai

Indian shares edged up on Thursday, led by IT stocks on hopes U.S. President-elect Donald Trump may not proceed with stringent visa rules.

Gains were however limited as pharma stocks fell on Trump's comment that drug makers were "getting away with murder" in what they charge the government for medicines, and promised that would change.

However, he did not make any announcements on potentially tougher visa rules for software services exporters, a concern for the sector ever since his election.

"IT companies valuations have come down over concerns related to U.S. H1B1 visas and visa fees. Something was expected to be announced in relation to this by Trump on Wednesday and that did not happen, so the market took the positive cues," said KK Mital, vice president of Venus India.

Broader index Nifty was up 0.34 percent at 8,409 as of 0528 GMT, while benchmark Sensex was 0.4 percent higher at 27,250.49.

The Nifty IT index rose as much as 1.6 percent, accounting for most of the gains, and led by Infosys Ltd which was up 2.26 percent. Oracle Financial Services was up 2.15 percent.

However, Tata Consultancy Services, which is expected to report December-quarter results later in the day, fell 0.51 percent.

Pharma stocks were the biggest losers with the Nifty Pharma index shedding as much as 2.24 percent, heading for its first drop in three sessions.

Among top losers, Cadila Healthcare Ltd was down 1.91 percent, while Aurobindo Pharma Ltd was 1.43 percent lower.


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