Mumbai, June 22 (IANS) The Indian equity markets closed flat on Wednesday, as uncertain global cues, profit booking and a weak rupee depressed investors.
The key indices remained range-bound amidst high volatility, as heavy selling pressure was witnessed in the afternoon trade session. This was partially reserved after the government approved a new textiles policy among other decisions.
The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) edged down by 16.20 points or 0.20 per cent, at 8,203.70 points.
The barometer 30-scrip sensitive index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 26,791.68 points, closed at 26,765.65 points — down 47.13 points or 0.18 per cent from the previous close at 26,812.78 points.
The Sensex touched a high of 26,887.29 points and a low of 26,617.45 points during the intra-day trade.
The BSE market breadth was skewed in favour of the bears — with 1,615 declines and 961 advances.
On Tuesday, the key indices ended on a lower note due to profit booking, uncertain global cues and a weak rupee.
The barometer index on Tuesday fell by 54.14 points or 0.20 per cent, while the NSE Nifty slipped by 18.60 points, or 0.23 per cent.
Initially, both the key indices opened on a flat-to-negative note as investors were seen cautious ahead of Britain’s upcoming referendum on whether or not to stay on in the European Union.
The island nation will go in for a referendum on this issue on Thursday, this led to a mix reaction from global indices.
Besides, investors were disappointed by US Federal Reserve Chairperson Janet Yellen’s comments on the prospects of jobs growth in the world’s largest economy. Yellen gave her comments during a testimony to the US Congress late Tuesday night.
In addition, a weak rupee dampened investors’ sentiments. The Indian rupee remained weak and closed at 67.48-49 against a US dollar.
Meanwhile, healthy stock off-take was witnessed after the government approved new norms for spectrum auction, textiles policy and expansion of the debt-recast scheme for power distribution companies.
“The equity markets closed flat on the back of thin volumes and ahead of the referendum in Britain. Profit booking and weak rupee also dragged the equity markets lower,” Anand James, Chief Market Strategist at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, told IANS.
“However, prospects for a mega merger of India’s 26 banks into six big lenders have again gained momentum, while the new textile policy allowed Indian investors to look beyond Britain’s vote.”
According to Nitasha Shankar, Senior Vice President for Research with YES Securities, Indian VIX (volatility) index rose in excess of five per cent as ‘Brexit’ event drew near.
“Broader markets gave up gains in late trade underperforming the headline indices,” Shankar said.
In terms of investments, the provisional data with exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors (FIIs) divested stock worth Rs 41.10 crore, whereas domestic institutional investors (DIIs) purchased scrip worth Rs 361.34 crore.
Sector-wise, the S&P BSE automobile index plunged by 151.87 points, followed by the capital goods index, which declined by 59.09 points, and the FMCG index fell by 46.75 points.
On the other hand, S&P BSE index healthcare index surged by 62.10 points, followed by the realty index, which rose by 3.62 points; and the metal index inched up by 1.58 points.
Major Sensex gainers during Wednesday’s trade were Adani Ports, up 1.87 per cent at Rs 207; Dr Reddy’s Lab, up 1.76 per cent at Rs 3,103.10; Coal India, up 1.25 per cent at Rs 316.65; Lupin, up 1.04 per cent at Rs 1,464.60; and Hero MotoCorp, up 0.70 per cent at Rs 3,070.
Major Sensex losers were Tata Motors, down 2.58 per cent at Rs 472.50; GAIL, down 1.88 per cent at Rs 374.90; Hindustan Unilever (HUL), down 1.43 per cent at Rs 859.60; ITC, down 1.12 per cent at Rs 354.55; and Reliance Industries, down 0.68 per cent at Rs 980.50.