Markets end choppy session on a flat note
Markets ended a volatile trading session marginally in the red with the benchmark indices flat with a negative bias.
At close, the Sensex was down 16 points at 20,713 and the Nifty was down six points to close at 6,168.
Earlier in the day, the Sensex had touched a low of 20,652 and the Nifty had dropped to 6,148 in intra-day trades.
The recovery came in the last hour of trade on account of gains in names like Sesa Sterlite, Infosys and ONGC.
Meanwhile, the broader markets reeled under selling pressure after several days of outperformance.
The midcap index gave off 0.8% and the smallcap index was down 0.7%, both underperforming the Sensex which was down 0.02%.
The rupee hit a one-week high of 61.96 versus its close of 62.07/08 on Wednesday as custodian banks sold the greenback. Currently the pair is trading at 62.02/03.
India's 2027 government bonds jump after RBI deputy governor H R Khan said debt switch may not happen this fiscal year. The benchmark 10-year paper trading down 2 bps at 8.78%.
Sectors and Stocks
On the sectoral front, metal index up 1% was the top gainer followed by oil & gas, IT, health care and power indices up 0.1-0.9%.
Meanwhile, capital goods and realty indices were down 2% each along with bankex, auto, FMCG and consumer durables indices down 0.4-0.6%.
L&T, Axis Bank and Hindalco down 2% each were the top losers among Sensex-30.
Mahindra & Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki, WIPRO, Bharti Airtel and SBI down 1-1.5% were the other notable losers.
Among the gainers were Sesa Sterlite, NTPC, ONGC, Coal India and Dr Reddys Lab up 2-4.5%. ONGC, Coal India gained on hopes of hefty interim dividend.
Sun Pharma, Infosys, TCS, Reliance Industries, Gail India and Tata Power which added 0.2-0.8% were the other prominent gainers.
The market breadth was negative owing to the weakness in broader markets. 1390 stocks declined while 1164 stocks advanced on the BSE.
Shares of NHC Foods extended gains today and were up 13% at Rs 34 on the Bombay Stock Exchange after the Reserve Bank of India approved hike in FII investment limit under the Portfolio Investment Scheme.
Suven Life Sciences gained 3% to Rs 78 after the company announced that it has secured three products patents each from Australia, Sri Lanka and South Korea corresponding to the New Chemical Entities (NCEs) for the treatment of disorders associated with Neurodegenerative diseases.
Jubilant FoodWorks dipped 3% at Rs 1,230 after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) barred buying by foreign institutional investors (FIIs) in shares of the company as the foreign shareholding in the company has reached the trigger limit.
Shares of gold loan companies like Muthoot Finance and Manappuram Finance have frozen upper circuit of 20% each after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has eased the norms for extending loans against gold jewellery as collateral.
Asian shares wavered on Thursday after a lacklustre performance on Wall Street overnight and ahead of a key U.S. jobs report due out the following day, while the dollar hovered near a seven-week high against a basket of currencies.
Market reaction was muted to a slowdown in China's annual consumer inflation in December, which decelerated to 2.5% from the previous month's 3%, more than the market had expected.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shed 0.4% after snapping a five-day losing streak on Wednesday.
Despite the yen's weakness, Japan's Nikkei benchmark shed 1.5%, giving up some of its 1.9% bounce in the previous session after losing nearly 3% in the first two trading days of 2014.
Following the weak global cues, European markets started in the negative. CAC, DAX and FTSE were down 0.1-0.4%.
Photographs: Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff