Indian equities end flat, profit booking caps gains

Mumbai, Feb 3: Indian equities markets closed on a flat note on Friday, even as inflow of foreign funds, coupled with a strong rupee and positive global cues kept investors’ sentiments buoyed. However, profit booking at higher levels capped gains and the key indices closed the day margilly in the green. Investors were cautious ahead of US non-farm payroll figures slated to be released later in the evening, and the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) monetary policy review next week.

The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the tiol Stock Exchange (NSE) inched up 6.70 points or 0.08 per cent to 8,740.95 points.

The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 28,270.67 points, closed at 28,240.52 points — up 13.91 points or 0.05 per cent, from the previous close at 28,226.61 points. The Sensex touched a high of 28,280.58 points and a low of 28,127.18 points during intra-day trade.

The BSE market breadth was tilted in favour of the bulls — with 1,637 advances and 1,183 declines. In terms of broader markets, the BSE mid-cap index rose by 0.61 per cent, while the BSE small-cap index surged by 1.08 per cent. On Thursday, inflow of foreign funds and a strong rupee buoyed the benchmark indices.

The NSE Nifty inched up by 17.85 points or 0.20 per cent to close at 8,734.25 points, while the BSE Sensex was up by 84.97 points or 0.30 per cent to 28,226.61 points. “Market traded flat for most part of the day as investors were still digesting the fine print of the budget,” Vijay Singhania, founder and Director of Trade Smart Online brokerage firm, told IANS. “Traders remained at the sidelines ahead of the weekend to scan through any more surprises in the budget document.” According to Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, the CNX Nifty witnessed some recovery from lower levels in second half of the session on the back of appreciation in Indian rupee against US dollar. “IT stocks witnessed mixed price movement, while banking, pharma, oil-gas and media-entertainment stocks traded with firm sentiments,” Desai pointed out. “Auto, textile, aviation, FMCG and cement stocks traded under selling pressure throughout the session, whereas power stocks witnessed volatile trade and witnessed recovery in second half of the session.”

The Indian rupee strengthened by six paise to 67.32 against a US dollar from its previous close of 67.38 to a greenback. The provisiol data with exchanges showed that foreign institutiol investors (FIIs) purchased stocks worth Rs 353.84 crore, while the domestic institutiol investors (DIIs) divested scrip worth Rs 42.53 crore. Sector-wise, the S&P BSE healthcare index surged by 241.62 points, followed by the banking index, which rose by 137.20 points, and the capital goods index, which edged up by 110.04 points. On the other hand, the S&P BSE automobile index plunged by 174.92 points, the consumer durables index declined by 99.60 points, and the metal index slipped by 66.65 points.

“Auto sector saw selling pressure as most of the companies reported muted numbers for January, still struggling from demonetisation effect,” Singhania added. “Pharmaceutical sector continued to see good buying for the second day with portfolio magers taking defensive position.” Major Sensex gainers on Friday were: Cipla, up 4.18 per cent at Rs 608.35; Coal India, up 1.81 per cent at Rs 326.05; State Bank of India (SBI), up 1.72 per cent at Rs 277.40; Axis Bank, up 1.49 per cent at Rs 489.65; and Dr Reddy’s Lab, up 1.47 per cent at Rs 3,141.60. Major Sensex losers were: Tata Motors, down 1.57 per cent at Rs 522.50; ICICI Bank, down 1.45 per cent at Rs 281.40; Reliance Industries, down 1.06 per cent at Rs 1,033.70; Power Grid, down 1.03 per cent at Rs 201.70; and Tata Steel, down 0.95 per cent at Rs 471.95. (IANS)