Caution ahead of derivatives expiry subdues markets

Mumbai, March 31 (IANS) Caution ahead of derivatives expiry, coupled with weak crude oil prices, subdued the Indian equity markets during the mid-afternoon trade session on Thursday.

Consequently, both the key indices of the Indian equity markets traded flat.

The wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) traded marginally higher by just 22.45 points or 0.29 percent, at 7,757.65 points.

The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 25,364.75 points, traded at 25,427.99 points (at 1.45 p.m.) — up 89.41 points or 0.35 percent from the previous day’s close at 25,338.58 points.

During the intra-day trade, the Sensex touched a high of 25,479.62 points and a low of 25,341.47 points.

The BSE market breadth favoured the bulls — with 1,205 advances and 1,143 declines.

The barometer index had gained 438 points or 1.76 percent on Wednesday.

Initially, both the key indices of the Indian equity markets opened on a flat-to-positive note, in-sync with their Asian peers.

Market observers cited that Wednesday’s healthy buying had dissipated as investors were cautious ahead of the derivatives expiry.

Besides, upcoming US non-farm payrolls data and key domestic macro economic data deterred investors from chasing prices.

In addition, weak crude oil prices due to supply side issues dented sentiments.

Rupee, too opened flat at 66.36 to a US dollar from its previous close of 66.37-38 to a greenback.

“Caution ahead of derivatives expiry and upcoming global and domestic macro data deterred investors from chasing prices. Weak commodities and strengthening dollar dented sentiments,” Anand James, chief market strategist, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS.

Nitasha Shankar, senior vice president for research with YES Securities said that the Indian markets traded on a positive note led by healthy buying in the FMCG (fast moving consumer goods), banking and cement stocks.

“Broader markets are also trading on a positive note in line with the headline indices. Metal and reality indices are trading in the red at the moment led by profit booking following yesterday’s sharp gains,” Shankar noted.

“FMCG, media, pharma and IT (information technology) indices are trading in the green.”

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