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Equities inch up on broadly positive global cues

Mumbai, Feb 9: The Indian equities markets on Thursday closed on a flat-to-positive note, as broadly positive global cues, coupled with inflow of foreign funds and a strong rupee, buoyed investors’ sentiments. However, caution ahead of the release of a key macro-economic data point — the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) — and heavy selling pressure in banking, metal and healthcare stocks, capped gains. The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the tiol Stock Exchange (NSE) inched up by 9.35 points or 0.11 per cent to 8,778.40 points. Similarly, the barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE closed on a flat-to-positive note. It opened at 28,349.22 points and closed at 28,329.70 points — up 39.78 points or 0.14 per cent, from the previous close at 28,289.92 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 28,469.48 points and a low of 28,152.18 points during the intra-day trade. Accordingly, the BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bears — with 1,513 declines and 1,384 advances.

The broader markets continued to outperform the headline barometer index. The BSE mid-cap and small-cap index ended higher by 0.23 per cent and 0.19 per cent respectively. On Wednesday, the NSE Nifty had risen by 0.75 points or 0.01 per cent to close at 8,769.05 points, while the BSE Sensex was down 45.24 points or 0.16 per cent at 28,289.92 points. Commenting on the day’s trade, Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, said markets made slight gains after witnessing a volatile session due to positive global indices. “Markets ended with margil gains on Thursday after witnessing a volatile session,” Jasani told IANS.

“Major Asian markets ended on a positive note, barring the Nikkei index. European indices like FTSE 100, CAC 40 and DAX too traded higher.” According to And James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit BNP Paribas Fincial Services, markets from here on will focus on Q3 (third quarter) results as well as the IIP figure due to be released on February 10. “SIAM’s (Society of Indian Automobile Manufactures) auto numbers have shown that passenger vehicle sales have recovered from the effect of demonetisation, adding to the positive expectations towards tomorrow’s IIP release,” James said. On the currency front, Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, pointed out: “Bearish USD/INR futures prices supported the recovery from lower levels in the second half of the session in the Indian equities markets.”

The Indian rupee appreciated by 56 paise to 66.84-85 against a US dollar from its previous close of 67.19 to a greenback. In terms of investments, the provisiol data with exchanges showed that foreign institutiol investors (FIIs) purchased stocks worth Rs 356.63 crore, whereas the domestic institutiol investors (DIIs) divested scrip worth Rs 379.63 crore. Sector-wise, the S&P BSE banking index declined by 109.53 points, followed by the metal index, which slipped by 86.18 points, and the healthcare index, which fell by 36.90 points. On the other hand, the S&P BSE IT index augmented by 159.35 points, the consumer durables index surged by 108.15 points, and the automobile index rose by 68.12 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Thursday were: Tata Consultancy Service (TCS), up 2.72 per cent at Rs 2,324.25; Hero MotoCorp, up 1.26 per cent at Rs 3,264.30; Infosys, up 1.24 per cent at Rs 948.10; Gail, up 1.23 per cent at Rs 490.45; and Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M), up 1.06 per cent at Rs 1,292.05.

Major Sensex losers were: Cipla, down 2.65 per cent at Rs 587; Tata Steel, down 2.29 per cent at Rs 459.90; NTPC, down 2.09 per cent at Rs 168.35; Larsen and Toubro (L&T), down 0.91 per cent at Rs 1,489.10; and Sun Pharma, down 0.84 per cent at Rs 656.75. (IANS)

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Ankur Kalita