The market pared early gains and settled in the negative for the fifth day in a row on persistent selling by foreign institutional investors. If the Nifty continues to make lower lows, it may go down to the level of 5,450. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) witnessed a volume of 56.02 crore shares and advance-decline ratio of 419:902.
The Indian market opened higher on supportive global cues and upgrade of ICICI Bank and Reliance Communications to ‘overweight’ by Morgan Stanley. Markets in Asia were higher in morning trades on easing of inflation in China and hopes that the Bank of Japan will continue with its growth building measures. US stocks pared early losses and ended higher on a late recovery ahead of the commencement of the earnings season.
Back home, the Nifty opened 26 points higher at 5,569 and the Sensex resumed trade at 18,481, a gain of 43 points over its previous close. The benchmarks were range-bound in the positive terrain for a major part of the morning session.
Buying support from capital goods, banking, metal and auto sectors pushed the indices to their highs at around 12.30pm. At this point the Nifty rose to 5,603 and the Sensex went up to 18,566.
However, the optimism was short-lived as the market soon pared its gains and edged lower on selling in heavyweights. The decline persisted in late trade as selling intensified with the benchmarks touching their lows towards the end of the trading session. The Nifty fell to 5,487 and the Sensex declined to 18,207 at their respective lows.
The market closed in the negative for the fifth straight day on selling by foreign institutional investors, who are concerned about the prevailing political environment in the country.
The Nifty finished the trading session with a loss of 48 points (0.86%) at 5,495 and the Sensex dropped 211 points (1.15%) to close at 18,226.
Among the broader indices, the BSE Mid-cap index dropped 1% and the BSE Small-cap index declined 0.84%.
BSE Auto (up 0.41%) was the only sectoral index which settled in the green. The top losers were led by BSE IT (down 2.10%); BSE TECk (down 1.88%); BSE Oil & Gas (down 1.65%); BSE PSU (down 1.57%) and BSE Fast Moving Consumer Goods (down 1.44%).
Six of the 30 stocks on the Sensex closed in the positive. The chief gainers were Tata Motors (up 2.26%); TCS (up 1.10%); Jindal Steel & Power (up 0.73%); NTPC (up 0.25%) and ICICI Bank (up 0.12%). The top losers were Wipro (down 12.19%); ONGC (down 2.91%); Infosys (down 2.36%); State Bank of India (down 2.30%) and GAIL India (down 2.22%).
The top two A Group gainers on the BSE were—Opto Circuits (up 2.46%) and Tata Motors (up 2.26%).
The top two A Group losers on the BSE were—Wipro (down 12.19%) and Motherson Sumi Systems (down 5.61%).
The top two B Group gainers on the BSE were—Yashraj Containeurs (up 19.98%) and Tirupati Inks (up 19.95%).
The top two B Group losers on the BSE were—Kriti Nutrients (down 19.32%) and KSE (down 19.21%).
Of the 50 stocks on the Nifty, 13 ended in the green. The key gainers were Cairn India (up 2.07%); Tata Motors (up 2.06%); TCS (up 1.30%); Ambuja Cement (up 0.89%) and NTPC (up 0.60%). The major losers were Reliance Infrastructure (down 3.54%); ONGC (down 3.50%); GAIL India (down 2.61%); SBI (down 2.59%) and Punjab National Bank (down 2.50%).
Markets across Asia closed mostly higher on easing of China’s consumer price index to 2.1% in March from 3.2 in the previous month. Speculations of fresh stimulus from the Bank of Japan also support the gains.
The Shanghai Composite gained 0.44%; the Hang Seng advanced 0.92%; the Jakarta Composite rose 0.28%; the KLSE Composite added 0.08%; the Nikkei 225 rose 0.15% and the Straits Times climbed 0.70%. Among the losers, the Seoul Composite declined 0.49% and the Taiwan Weighted fell 0.35%.
At the time of writing, the CAC 40 of France was up 0.49%; the DAX of Germany rose 0.22% and UK’s FTSE 100 was 0.40% higher. At the same time, the US stock futures were marginally higher.
Back home, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of equities amounting to Rs163.95 crore on Monday. On the other hand, domestic investors were net buyers of shares aggregating Rs212.72 crore.
Cairn India today said that it has struck fresh oil in the Barmer Block in Rajasthan. The company has made its latest oil discovery, the 26th discovery so far in the RJ-ON-90/1 block, following recent policy clarity by the Government of India to conduct exploration activity in development blocks. The stock surged 2.07% to close at Rs291.35 on the NSE.
Pipe maker Maharashtra Seamless said on Monday that its Board has approved Rs100 crore share buy back at a price not more than Rs300 a scrip through the open market. The shares proposed to be bought back are within 10% of the company’s paid up capital and free reserves. The stock jumped 5.27% to close at Rs225.90 on the NSE.