Short covering aids paring of losses; Sensex ends in green (Roundup)

Mumbai, Oct 27 (IANS) Short covering, along with bargain hunting, helped the India equity markets pare losses on Thursday. However, both the key indices closed flat.

The recovery was triggered during the last half an hour of the day’s trade with a bounce-back in European indices after latest macro-data showed that United Kingdom’s GDP grew at 0.5 per cent in Q3.

Earlier, negative global cues, lower crude oil prices and disappointing quarterly earning results dragged the key indices lower.

Besides, the decline in Tata Group’s subsidiaries’ stock prices a day after ousted Chairman of Tata Sons Cyrus P. Mistry alleged corporate misconduct dented investors’ sentiments.

Moreover, investors were cautious due to F&O (futures and options) expiry, as well as, the rise in non-performing asset (NPAs) levels of the banking sector and massive outflow of foreign funds.

The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 27,808.63 points, closed at 27,915.90 points — up 79.39 points or 0.29 per cent from the previous close at 27,836.51 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 27,958.13 points and a low of 27,665.60 points during the intra-day trade.

The BSE market breadth was skewed in favour of the bears — with 1,634 declines and 1,036 advances.

However, the wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) remained unchanged at 8,615.25 points.

“CNX Nifty traded with bearish sentiments throughout the session on selling pressure, however it witness smart recovery from lower levels in the last hour of trading session due to short covering and lower levels buying,” said Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls.

“IT, banking, auto and oil-gas stocks traded with bearish sentiments, whereas pharma stocks managed to hold on to early gains.”

Desai added that stocks of textile, aviation, media-entertainment and FMCG also traded with bearish sentiments due to selling pressure.

“Power and cement sector stocks traded down on lack of buying interest at higher levels,” Desai added.

According to Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services: “A brief fillip in European markets and F&O expiry dynamics lifted stocks in the latter half, but broad market sentiments remained weak, with as many as two stocks declining for every stock that rose in NSE.”

In terms of investments, provisional data with the stock exchanges showed that the foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold stocks worth Rs 469.93 crore, whereas the domestic institutional investors (DIIs) invested Rs 856.50 crore.

Major Sensex gainers during Thursday’s trade were: HDFC, up 3.55 per cent at Rs 1,383.40; Dr.Reddy’s Lab, up 2.33 per cent at Rs 3,318.90; ICICI Bank, up 1.94 per cent at Rs 283.95; ITC, up 1.84 per cent at Rs 243.30; and Bharti Airtel, up 1.57 per cent at Rs 323.05.

Major Sensex losers were: Asian Paints, down 3.24 per cent at Rs 1,086.35; Hero MotoCorp, down 3.12 per cent at Rs 3,314/.75; Wipro, down 2.06 per cent at Rs 462.65; Bajaj Auto, down 1.93 per cent at Rs 2,764.35; and Lupin, down 1.56 per cent at Rs 1,485.