Stocks drove into consolidation mode on Thursday in the absence of fresh triggers as the Sensex remained marginally up to close at 28,330 (rpt) 28,330 ahead of release of key macro data tomorrow. Leaving the RBI policy decision behind, where the central bank kept repo rate on hold on Wednesday, markets saw bouts of choppiness all throughout. Buying ahead of December IIP data due tomorrow and optimism about corporate earnings steered the domestic market, traders said.
The Sensex opened higher and moved between 28,469.48 and 28,152.18 before ending at 28,329.70, showing a moderate rise of 39.78 points, or 0.14 per cent. The volatile Sensex shuttled over 317 points during the session. The NSE Nifty inched higher by 9.35 points, or 0.11 per cent, to close at 8,778.40. Intra-day, it hovered in a range of 8,821.40 and 8,724.10.
The broader markets too traded in sync with the benchmark indices as the mid-cap and small-cap gained 0.23 per cent and 0.19 per cent, respectively. A firm trend in Asia and a better opening in Europe swayed sentiment here. Sentiment also got a boost after the rupee continued its upward journey to trade at three-month high of 66.95 against the American unit (intra-day) at the forex market.
Among Sensex-30 constituents, TCS gained the most by surging 2.72 per cent to Rs 2,324.25, followed by Bharti Airtel up 1.47 per cent to Rs 358. Other gainers that supported the key indices included Infosys, GAIL, Wipro, ITC Ltd, RIL, M&M, PowerGrid, Asian Paint, Adani Ports and Coal India, rising by up to 1.24 per cent.
Shares of pharmaceutical firm Lupin Ltd rose 0.51 per cent to Rs 1,495.35 after the company on Thursday reported 20.68 per cent increase in consolidated net profit at Rs 633.1 crore for the third quarter ended December 2016, driven by robust sales in North American market.
Shares of Hero MotoCorp gained 1.34 per cent at Rs 3,267 despite the company posting a decline of 2.6 per cent in standalone net profit to Rs 772.05 crore in the October-December quarter, mainly on account of demonetisation. In the sectoral indices, the BSE IT gained by 1.64 per cent, technology 1.62 per cent, consumer durables 0.80 per cent, realty 0.80 per cent and FMCG 0.42 per cent.
Banking shares faced some selling pressure after RBI kept its policy rates on hold and shifted its stance from ‘accommodative’ to ‘neutral’. Losers in the banking space were SBI, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, PNB, Bank of Baroda, Yes Bank and ICICI Bank, dragging down the bank index by 0.47 per cent.
Meanwhile, foreign investors sold shares worth a net Rs 127.69 crore on Wednesday, provisional data showed. Other Asian markets ended mixed as Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.17 per cent and Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.51 per cent. Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.53 per cent. European shares rose at the start of trading as Frankfurt’s DAX 30 gained 0.30 per cent, Paris CAC 40 added 0.60 per cent and London’s FTSE rose 0.20 per cent in their early deals.