Amid trade war fears equity indices end at record levels; RIL m-cap over Rs 8 lakh crore (Roundup)

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Mumbai, Aug 23 (IANS) Amid a largely volatile trade, the key Indian equity indices settled at record closing levels on Thursday with marginal gains, supported by healthy buying in capital goods and IT indices.

Earlier in the day, both S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty50 touched their respective intra-day record high levels of 38,487.63 points and 11,620.70 points. However, they could not hold the gains for long.

Consequent to the Indian markets being around record levels, any minor gain in the day’s trade nudges the key indices to fresh benchmarks.

In the day’s trade, fresh concerns of a trade-war like situation between the US and China limited the gains, analysts said. Both the US and China enforced 25 per cent tariffs on $16 billion worth of each other’s goods on Thursday, ratcheting up the trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

Index-wise, the wider Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange closed at 11,582.75 points, up only 11.85 points or 0.10 per cent from its previous close of 11,570.90 points.

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The benchmark BSE Sensex which had opened at 38,416.65 points, closed at 38,336.76 points, higher by just 51.01 points or 0.13 per cent from its previous close of 38,285.75 points. It touched an intra-day low of 38,227.36 points.

Moreover, the broader markets ended on a mixed note. The S&P BSE Mid-cap edged up by 0.20 per cent and the S&P BSE Small-cap declined 0.14 per cent. The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,512 declines and 1,217 advances.

“Domestic markets opened the day on a positive note and scaled record highs in morning trade. However, selling pressure at higher levels subsequently pulled the markets lower and pushed them to finally close the day near the flat line,” said Abhijeet Dey, Senior Fund Manager for Equities, at BNP Paribas Mutual Fund.

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He further said that caution edged in after Beijing implemented new retaliatory tariffs against the United States.

Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research at HDFC Securities, said major Asian markets have closed on a positive note, barring the Hang Seng index and the European indices like CAC 40 traded in the green.

On Thursday, the Indian rupee depreciated by 29 paise to settle at 70.12 per US dollar, from 69.81 on the previous trade session.

Investment-wise, provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors bought scrips worth Rs 433.21 crore and the domestic institutional investors purchased stocks worth Rs 142 crore.

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE capital goods index rose 188.28 points, the IT index was up 174.09 points and the FMCG index rose 139.57 points.

In contrast, the S&P BSE banking index declined by 264.92 points, the index metal fell 202.22 points and finance index ended 39.45 points lower than its previous close.

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In a major stock-wise development, Reliance Industries (RIL) became the first Indian company to cross the market-capitalization mark of Rs 8 lakh crore. At closing, the market cap of RIL on the BSE stood at Rs 8.04 lakh crore. Reliance was among the top gainers of the Sensex on Thursday.

The top gainers on the Sensex were Larsen and Toubro, up 2.30 per cent at Rs 1,352.50; NTPC, up 2.05 per cent at Rs 164.50; Reliance Industries, up 1.86 at Rs 1,269.70; Adani Ports up 1.68 per cent, at Rs 383.80; and Power Grid, up 1.47 per cent at Rs 190 per share.

The majors losers were Tata Motors, down 4.33 per cent at Rs 257.40; Vedanta, down 2.01 per cent at Rs 214.80; Tata Steel, down 1.85 per cent at Rs 571.50; Bajaj Auto, down 1.53 per cent at Rs 2,685.95 per share.

–IANS

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