Profit booking, weak rupee curb gains; equities end flat (Roundup)

Mumbai, Jan 19 (IANS) Indian equities markets closed on a flat-to-positive note on Thursday as profit booking, coupled with a weakened rupee and foreign fund outflows, capped gains.

Besides, investors were cautious ahead of the European Central Bank’s policy meet and US Federal Reserve’s signal of a hike in its interest rates during the ongoing calendar year.

However, hopes of healthy third-quarter (Q3) results and fiscal support from the upcoming Union Budget kept investors’ sentiments buoyed.

The key indices witnessed volatility to eventually close on a flat note — marginally in the green — as stocks of oil and gas, automobile and consumer durables witnessed healthy buying activity.

The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) rose by 18.10 points or 0.22 per cent, to 8,435.10 points.

The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 27,253.34 points, closed at 27,308.60 points — up 50.96 points or 0.19 per cent from the previous close at 27,257.64 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 27,348.19 points and a low of 27,219.89 points during the intra-day trade.

The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bulls — with 1,441 advances and 1,286 declines.

On Wednesday, broadly positive global indices and inflow of foreign funds buoyed the benchmark indices.

The NSE Nifty rose by 19 points or 0.23 per cent, to 8,417 points, while the BSE Sensex was up 21.98 points or 0.08 per cent.

“Nifty ended with marginal gains on Thursday after a shaky opening and touched a low of 8,404 during the intra-day trade,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

“Major Asian markets ended on a mixed note, while European indices like the FTSE 100, CAC 40 and DAX traded lower.”

In terms of broader markets, the mid-cap and small-cap stocks outperformed the benchmark indices.

The BSE mid-cap index rose by 0.41 per cent, while the BSE small-cap index was up 0.33 per cent.

According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, the market traded in a narrow range and witnessed stock-specific movement.

“Mid-cap outperformed large-cap today and many mid-cap stocks buzzed in anticipation of their quarterly results,” Desai said.

“Today was the day of profit booking, as retail participants waited in the sidelines for the budget event.”

In addition, the Indian rupee weakened by four paise to 68.13 against a US dollar from its previous close of 68.09 to a greenback.

In terms of investments, provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold stocks worth Rs 132.26 crore, while the domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought scrip worth Rs 379.63 crore.

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE oil and gas index surged by 251.42 points, followed by the automobile index, which rose by 111.09 points, and the consumer durables index, which edged up by 108.99 points.

On the other hand, the S&P BSE healthcare index fell by 69.46 points, the banking index receded by 42.79 points and the finance index slipped by 9.58 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Thursday were: Gail, up 5.31 per cent at Rs 462.70; Power Grid, up 1.79 per cent at Rs 202; ONGC, up 1.62 per cent at Rs 201.05; Tata Motors, up 1.44 per cent at Rs 530.70; and ITC, up 1.22 per cent at Rs 253.95.

Major Sensex losers were: Lupin, down 1.28 per cent at Rs 1,478.60; Axis Bank, down 0.95 per cent at Rs 483.70; Sun Pharma, down 0.87 per cent at Rs 644.20; Wipro, down 0.80 per cent at Rs 477.90; and HDFC Bank, down 0.73 per cent at Rs 1,234.85.

–IANS

ppg-rv/vt

Top