Profit booking, along with a political logjam in Parliament over the demonetisation drive and lower European markets, subdued the Indian equities markets on Thursday. Weak European cues and domestic liquidity concerns also caused selling pressure. Higher global crude oil prices, buoyant Asian markets, appreciation in rupee and largely positive macro-economic data arrested any major fall.
The Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) edged lower by 31.60 points or 0.38 per cent to 8,192.90 points. The Sensex touched a high of 26,769.32 points and a low of 26,540.82 points during the intra-day trade. The BSE market breadth was skewed in favour of the bears - with 1,406 declines and 1,149 advances.
Pharmaceutical stocks rallies after the Delhi High Court today quashed the government's notification in March, which had banned 344 fixed-dose drugs. The government had banned the drugs citing concerns over lack of any therapeutic justification and health risks.
Telecom stocks like Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications lost ground after Reliance Jio Chairman Mukesh Ambani said starting December 4, all subscribers will get voice, data, video and full bouquet of other Jio applications free till March 31, 2017. The scheme is called "Jio Happy New Year offer".
Bank Nifty lost 1 percent as ICICI Bank, Bank of Baroda, PNB, SBI and Axis Bank declined 1-2 percent. Asian Paints shed 3 percent on profit booking. Mumbai-based construction company HCC surged 20 percent as it will get 75 percent arbitral award amount of around Rs 2,000 crore in 4-6 weeks. Auto sales were mixed in November.
Aviation stocks like SpiceJet, Jet Airways and InterGlobe Aviation plunged 2.5-4 percent despite jet fuel prices cut by 3.7 percent (Rs 1,881) to Rs 48,379/kL in Delhi. This was because of a sharp rally in crude oil yesterday.
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given below:
Asia closed higher with the Japan's Nikkei rising 1 percent as regional manufacturing surveys led by China beat expectations. Brent crude oil futures gained 1 percent on top of 8.8 percent rally in previous session after OPEC and Russia agreed to restrict production.
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below: