Lack of participation subdues markets, Sensex closes flat (Roundup)

Mumbai, Dec 24 (IANS) Lack of investors’ participation, coupled with the ongoing political turmoil and the government’s inability to pass a key economic legislation during parliament’s just concluded winter session, subdued Indian equity markets on Thursday.

This led a barometer index of the Indian equity markets to close flat, a day after it made healthy gains of nearly 260 points.

Latest data with the stock exchanges showed that the volumes in cash markets across key bellwether indices eased to Rs.16,000 crore in the last couple of trading sessions from a robust Rs.20,000 crore level seen last week.

In addition, the government’s inability to get the crucial GST (Goods and Services Tax) bill passed during the winter session of parliament continued to erode investors’ confidence.

Besides, investors were cautious regarding the upcoming third quarter earnings season.

However, rebound in commodity and crude oil prices kept the key indices from sinking deep into the red.

The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) closed flat during the day’s trade.

Similarly, the wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed flat. It marginally declined by 4.90 points or 0.06 percent at 7,861.05 points.

The Sensex of the S&P BSE, which opened at 25,893.84 points, closed at 25,838.71 points – down 11.59 points or 0.04 percent from the previous day’s close at 25,850.30 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 25,922.47 points and a low of 25,763.40 points during the intra-day trade.

The Sensex had closed the previous session on Wednesday, up 259.65 points or 1.01 percent, while the Nifty ended higher by 79.85 points or 1.03 percent.

“Lack of investors’ participation during the holiday season in the cash markets subdued sentiments. Markets were lacklustre due to the low participation of foreign funds which were expected to return after the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meet,” Vinod Nair, head for fundamental research with Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS.

“Government’s inability to pass the GST during the winter session of parliament also dragged markets lower.”

Vaibhav Agarwal, vice president and research head at Angel Broking, told IANS that markets traded flat in the absence of any major trigger and low volumes due to the holiday season.

“We expect the coming week to continue to remain lacklustre with the new year holidays on the anvil. We may witness a bit of selling pressure early next week ahead of the F&O (futures and options) expiry.”

The domestic institutional investors were net buyers in the day’s trade. According to data with stock exchanges, DIIs invested Rs.8.05 crore in stocks.

Sector-wise, healthy buying was witnessed in capital goods, metal and automobile stocks.

The S&P BSE capital goods index gained by 78.04 points, metal index rose by 55.06 points and automobile index was higher by 49.28 points.

On the other hand, consumer durables, banking and finance scrips declined.

The S&P BSE consumer durable index plunged by 110.34 points, banking index receded by 80.05 points and finance index declined by 13.10 points.

Major Sensex gainers during Thursday’s trade were Bharti Airtel, up 1.88 percent at Rs.338.40; Gail, up 1.12 percent at Rs.362.25; Tata Motors, up 1.00 percent at Rs.382.40; Hero MotoCorp, up 0.54 percent at Rs.2,689.70; and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), up 0.54 percent at Rs.2,433.35.

The major Sensex losers were ICICI Bank, down 1.53 percent at Rs.257.80; Maruti Suzuki, down 0.88 percent at Rs.4,594.40; ONGC, down 0.62 percent at Rs.233.95; HDFC, down 0.59 percent at Rs.1,229.95 and State Bank of India (SBI), down 0.54 percent at Rs.228.65.

The Indian equity markets will be closed on Friday on account of Christmas.

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