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India's Sensex Trims Gains after Hitting Milestone of 70,000

BENGALURU, Dec 11 (Reuters) - India's Nifty 50 and Sensex indexes hit record highs on Monday before paring the gains, dragged by pharma stocks following the U.S. drug regulator's observations on Dr. Reddy's Laboratories.

The NSE Nifty 50 index rose as much as 0.24% to 21,019.80 points, while the S&P BSE Sensex gained 0.32% to 70,048.90, as of 10:06 a.m. IST. Both indexes later pared their gains and held steady after hitting all-time highs.

Meanwhile, the Sensex achieved a milestone, surpassing the 70,000 mark for the first time.

"For index traders, 20,800 for Nifty and 69,250 levels for Sensex will act as a support zone while profit booking can happen at 21,200-21,300 levels for Nifty and 70,000-70,300 for Sensex," said Shrikant Chouhan, head of equity research at Kotak Securities.

Pharma stocks fell about 1%, led by a 6% decline in Dr. Reddy's Laboratories. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a Form 483 with three observations after inspecting the drug maker's facility at Bachupally in Hyderabad. The stock was the top Nifty 50 loser.

Oil & gas gained 0.75%, supported by the ongoing drop in crude oil prices.

Brent Crude futures recorded their seventh consecutive week of losses on Friday, settling at $76.50 per barrel in Asian trading hours. A fall in oil prices is positive for importers of the commodity like India.

Public sector banks advanced 1.6%, with all the 12 constituents logging gains.

The small- and mid-caps gained 0.4% and 0.9%, respectively, supported by domestic mutual fund inflows.

Market expectations of a U.S. rate cut by March 2024 were also dampened by stronger-than-expected jobs data. The rate outlook may hinge on consumer price inflation data and the Federal Reserve's policy decision, due later in the week.

Reporting by Bharath Rajeswaran in Bengaluru; Editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Dhanya Ann Thoppil

Source: Reuters

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