Sensex, Nifty Fall; Infosys up 2% on Buyback Buzz; Bandhan Bank Falls 3%

BSE Sensex and NSE’s Nifty 50 traded little changed, taking cues from Asian markets. The Sensex rose over 120 points in the opening trade led by gains in IT stocks such as Infosys and TCS. However, losses in auto and metal stocks dragged the indices lower.

Asian stocks were mixed as investors weighed reports that US President Donald Trump has discussed firing Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, and the impact of a partial US government shutdown. Stocks slid in Hong Kong and South Korea, while shares rose in China and Australia

Oil prices dipped half a percent ahead of the Christmas holiday break, adding to last week’s steep losses on concerns about a global oversupply.

Infosys shares rise 2% on share buyback reports
Infosys shares rose as much as 2.02% to Rs 658.80 after the Times of India reported that the company is likely to consider a proposal for a second share buyback of $1.60 billion very soon to cheer up investor sentiments in which some founding family members could tener their shares.

Top Trump official calls US bank CEOs in bid to calm markets
U.S. President Donald Trump’s Treasury secretary called top U.S. bankers on Sunday amid an ongoing rout on Wall Street and made plans to convene a group of officials known as the “Plunge Protection Team.”

U.S. stocks have fallen sharply in recent weeks on concerns over slowing economic growth, with the S&P 500 index on pace for its biggest percentage decline in December since the Great Depression.

Bandhan Bank shares down over 3% as it denies any knowledge of Gruh Finance deal
Bandhan Bank shares fell as much as 3.15% to Rs 512 per share after it clarified that the bank was unaware of the news that it is in talks with HDFC for control of Gruh Finance. The bank also stated that it is evaluating various opportunities and will not comment on market speculation.

Oil prices fall, gold gains

Oil prices dipped ahead of the Christmas holiday break, adding to last week’s steep losses on concerns about a global oversupply. International benchmark Brent crude futures fell 27 cents, or 0.5%, to $53.55 a barrel. Brent touched $52.79 on Friday, its lowest since September 2017.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures eased 8 cents, or 0.1%, to $45.51 a barrel. WTI hit its lowest since July 2017 on Friday at $45.13.

Gold prices climbed, with investor appetite for risk curbed by worries over a partial U.S. government shutdown, Sino-U.S. trade tensions and faltering global economic growth. Spot gold had risen 0.4 percent to $1,261.47 per ounce. U.S. gold futures were up 0.5 percent at $1,264.1 per ounce.

Rupee trades flat against US dollar
The Indian rupee was trading little changed against the US dollar, tracking mixed Asian currencies. At 9.08am, the rupee was trading at 70.21 a dollar, down 0.03% from its Friday’s close of 70.18. The rupee opened at 70.16 a dollar.

The 10-year gilt yield was trading at 7.292% from its previous close of 7.277%. So far this year, the rupee has declined 9%, while foreign investors have sold $4.46 billion and $7.01 billion in the equity and debt markets, respectively.