Profit bookings subdue markets; Sensex closes flat (Roundup)

Mumbai, Dec 29 (IANS) Lack of investors’ participation, coupled with caution over the upcoming derivatives expiry and profit bookings, subdued Indian equity markets on Tuesday.

This led to a barometer index of the Indian equity markets closing the day’s trade flat.

Initially, both the bellwether indices of the Indian equity markets rose in sync with their Asian peers.

In addition, markets tried to maintain their Monday gains which were made on the back of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new initiative of “Start-up India Stand-up India.”

However, markets soon ceded their gains, as lack of investors’ participation coupled with absence of any triggers depressed sentiments and prompted some investors to book profits.

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.

Besides, investors were seen cautious regarding the upcoming third-quarter earnings season which starts from January 14.

Nevertheless, positive European markets, along with value buying at lower levels again rose prices during the latter part of the trading session.

The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) ended the day’s trade marginally up by 45 points, or 0.17 percent.

Similarly, the wider 50-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed flat. It closed higher by a mere 4.00 points, or 0.05 percent, at 7,928.95 points.

The Sensex of the S&P Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), which opened at 26,075.68 points, closed at 26,079.48 points — up 45.35 points, or 0.17 percent from the previous day’s close at 26,034.13 points.

The Sensex touched a high of 26,133.78 points and a low of 25,994.45 points during the intra-day trade.

The Sensex had closed the previous session on December 28 with gains of over 195 points, or 0.76 percent, while the Nifty was higher by 64.10 points, or 0.82 percent.

“Value buying at lower levels and expectations of more reforms by the government after the announcements on “Start-up India Stand-up India” which is lined up for launch next month helped markets make marginal gains,” Anand James, co-head, technical research desk with Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS.

“Nifty maintaining its consistent position above the 7,900 mark gave confidence to investors to chase prices. There were expectations that the Nifty will breach the 8,000-level mark.”

Vaibhav Agarwal, vice president and research head at Angel Broking elaborated that market breadth continued to remain in favour of the declines.

“We expect the coming week to continue to remain lacklustre with the new year holidays on the anvil. We expect corporate earnings to be the next major trigger for markets,” Agarwal said.

Both, the foreign and domestic institutional investors were net buyers in the day’s trade.

According to data with stock exchanges, FIIs invested only about Rs.8.49 crore, while DIIs bought stocks worth Rs.6.44 crore.

In spite of foreign inflows into Indian equities, the rupee weakened during the day’s trade. It fell by 20 paise to close at 66.40 to a US dollar from its previous close of 66.20 to a greenback.

Sector-wise, healthy buying was witnessed in automobile, banking and oil and gas stocks.

The S&P BSE automobile index gained by 102.69 points, banking index rose by 46.96 points and oil and gas index was higher by 23.09 points.

On the other hand, capital goods, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and metal scrip declined.

The S&P BSE capital goods index plunged by 65.42 points, FMCG index receded by 33.34 points and metal index declined by 30.94 points.

Major Sensex gainers during Tuesday’s trade were Bajaj Auto, up 1.76 percent at Rs.2,531.15; Mahindra and Mahindra, up 1.46 percent at Rs.1,265; Hero MotoCorp, up 1.18 percent at Rs.2,734.25; Gail, up 1.13 percent at Rs.366; and Bharti Airtel, up 1.00 percent at Rs.334.45.

The major Sensex losers were BHEL, down 1.75 percent at Rs.168.65; Coal India, down 1.15 percent at Rs.321.40; Hindustan Unilever, down 0.88 percent at Rs.858.25; Tata Motors, down 0.61 percent at Rs.390.85; and Dr.Reddy’s Lab, down 0.45 percent at Rs.3,102.30.

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