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Equities close flat on disappointing macro-economic data

Mumbai, Feb 14: Indian equities markets on Tuesday closed on a flat note — fractiolly in the red — as disappointing macro-economic data, coupled with broadly negative global cues and profit booking, subdued investors’ sentiments. However, positive European markets, along with a strengthened rupee arrested the falls.

The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the tiol Stock Exchange (NSE) fell by 12.75 points or 0.14 per cent to 8,792.30 points.

The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 28,386.12 points, closed at 28,339.31 points — down 12.31 points, or 0.04 per cent, from the previous close at 28,351.62 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 28,386.68 points and a low of 28,263.45 points during the intra-day trade. The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bears — with 1,776 declines and 1,050 advances. On Monday, the NSE Nifty rose by 11.50 points or 0.13 per cent to close at 8,805.05 points, and the BSE Sensex was up by 17.37 points, or 0.06 per cent, at 28,351.62 points. “Markets ended with margil losses on Tuesday after witnessing a volatile session as caution prevailed ahead of US Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s upcoming congressiol testimony,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS. “Frontline indices swung between the positive and negative terrain around the flat line amid rangebound trade.” In terms of broader markets, the BSE mid-cap index fell by 0.56 per cent, while the small-cap index was down by 0.63 per cent. Besides, official wholesale prices (WPI) data released during the afternoon showed that India’s annual rate of WPI inflation rose to 5.25 per cent in January, 2017. This hampered investors’ risk-taking appetite. Another set of data points released on Monday showed that the country’s annual retail inflation (CPI) eased to 3.17 per cent during last month.

Vijay Singhania, founder and Director of brokerage firm Trade Smart Online predicted that a higher WPI rate indicated a possible future rise in annual retail inflation. “Most of the other indicators showed a negative to flat trend with food inflation contracting further. These numbers indicate that CPI can expand going further, thus justifying RBI’s (Reserve Bank of India) stance of maintaining interest rates at the current levels,” Singhania said. “Banking, auto, housing and consumable stocks will be under pressure as scope for interest rate reductions will be pushed further away.” According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, the Indian equities markets recovered well in the second half of the session supported by bearish USD/INR futures prices.

The Indian rupee strengthened by eight paise to 66.94 against a US dollar from its previous close of 67.02 to a greenback. In terms of investments, the provisiol data with exchanges showed that foreign institutiol investors (FIIs) sold stocks worth Rs 6.45 crore, whereas the domestic institutiol investors (DIIs) divested scrip worth Rs 3.20 crore.

Desai said: “IT stocks traded with mixed sentiments but maged to give positive closing supported by lower levels buying.” “Banking, pharma, auto, oil-gas, textile and aviation stocks traded with mixed sentiments, while FMCG, cement and power sector stocks traded with bearish sentiments due to selling pressure,” he added. The S&P BSE automobile index plunged by 242.50 points, followed by the metal index, which declined by 109.39 points, and the healthcare index which slipped by 72.36 points. On the other hand, the S&P BSE telecom index rose by 23.73 points, the banking index edged higher by 19.61 points, and the Teck (technology, media and entertainment) index was up by 18.33 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Tuesday were: Bharti Airtel, up 3.03 per cent at Rs 369; Gail, up 3.02 per cent at Rs 495.75; Reliance Industries, up 1.94 per cent at Rs 1,048.25; ONGC, up 1.80 per cent at Rs 195.55; and ICICI Bank, up 1.14 per cent at Rs 284.90.

Major Sensex losers were: Tata Motors, down 3.68 per cent at Rs 486.80; Hero MotoCorp, down 2.02 per cent at Rs 3,161.15; Hindustan Unilever (HUL), down 1.70 per cent at Rs 848.25; Maruti Suzuki, down 1.37 per cent at Rs 5,940; and Bajaj Auto, down 1.34 per cent at Rs 2,768.75. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita