Sensex ends rangebound session flat, Midcaps correct for 2nd day; Eicher dips 4%
Benchmark indices closed rangebound session on a flat note but the broader markets corrected further on profit booking for second consecutive session Tuesday.
The fall led by banks, oil marketing companies and FMCG stocks was offset by gains in HDFC Group stocks and Reliance Industries. Auto stocks were mixed.
The 30-share BSE Sensex fell more than 100 points in afternoon on weak European cues but managed to recover in late trade to close flat. The index was down 0.49 points at 33,812.26 at close while the 50-share NSE Nifty gained 6.70 points at 10,442.20.
The market is expected to consolidate for few more sessions as investors await two key events – earnings that will begin next week and Union Budget that scheduled to be presented on February 1, experts suggest.
Largely experts expect Q3 earnings to be better than Q2FY18 and the Budget to be more populist one.
“December quarter earnings may not be exceptionally good but would positively surprise the street in select companies and we would rather be keen to watch the Q4 earnings for a more realistic peep into CY 2018,” S Ranganathan, Head of Research at LKP Securities told Moneycontrol.
Given the many assembly elections coming up ahead of the General Elections in 2019, he sees some kind of populism in the ensuing Budget as there could be a rural tilt but that by itself does not mean that the reform process has taken a back seat.
The broader markets underperformed frontline indices, with the Nifty Midcap falling 0.7 percent. About two shares declined for every share rising on the NSE.
The Nifty PSU Bank was biggest loser among sectoral indices, falling 1.5 percent followed by Realty (down 1.1 percent), Pharma (down 0.5 percent) and FMCG (0.57 percent). However, Auto, IT and Metal indices gained 0.3-0.6 percent.
After December auto sales data, Eicher Motors plunged 4 percent and Maruti Suzuki declined 1 percent whereas Tata Motors, TVS Motor, Ashok Leyland and Mahindra & Mahindra gained 1-4 percent.
Oil retailers HPCL, BPCL and IOC were down 1-2 percent but ONGC rallied 2 percent on back of rising crude oil prices in international market. Brent crude futures were trading around USD 67 a barrel at the time of writing this article.
HDFC, HDFC Bank, Bharti Infratel, IndusInd Bank, Tata Power, Tata Steel, Coal India and HCL Technologies among others gained 1-3 percent while SBI, Indiabulls Housing, Bharti Airtel and Axis Bank were down 1-3 percent.
L&T dropped nearly a percent despite bagging two orders worth Rs 3,500 crore.
ITI shares rallied 5 percent after sources told CNBC-Awaaz that the government may sell its stake in the company in two tranches. NMDC gained 5.5 percent after the company hiked fines and lumps prices by Rs 500 per tonne for January 2018.
Reliance Naval, Reliance Communications, Jaiprakash Associates, Reliance Power, Reliance Nippon, Monnet Ispat, Bhushan Steel, Westlife Development, Adani Transmission, IFCI and Unitech were down 3-8 percent while Graphite India, HEG, Rain Industries, MTNL, Bajaj Hindusthan and Phillips Carbon rallied 5-12 percent.
On the global front, Asian markets ended mixed, with the China’s Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rising 1-2 percent. European markets were under pressure as investors continued to monitor geopolitical unrest in Iran. France CAC, Germany DAX and Britain FTSE were down 0.4-0.8 percent at the time of writing this article.