Mumbai : The key Indian equity indices on Tuesday gave up all gains to close on a flat note, with the BSE Sensex incurring marginal losses while the NSE Nifty50 held on to the green with minute gains. IT major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) was the top loser on the domestic bourses.
According to market observers, lessened chances of a rate-hike by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on the back of easing inflation, along with a huge sell-off in stocks of TCS, pulled the indices lower from their intra-day highs.
On a closing basis, the wider NSE Nifty50 inched up 5.45 points or 0.05 per cent to 10,426.85 points.
On the BSE, the barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) closed at 33,856.78 points — down 61.16 points or 0.18 per cent from the previous session’s close.
However, the BSE market breadth was bullish with 1,705 advances and 993 declines.
Earlier during the day, healthy macro-economic data, along with healthy buying in banking, consumer durables, oil and gas and healthcare stocks lifted the benchmark indices. The BSE Sensex had reclaimed the 34,000-mark in the course.
“A sell-off from the highs in the afternoon session curbed the gains. PSU banks bounced up, but failed to close at their intra-day highs as a soft CPI (Consumer Price Index) number for February announced on Monday raised hopes of a softer interest rate regime,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.
Data released after market hours on Monday revealed that the country’s factory production growth in January doubled to 7.5 per cent and retail inflation (CPI) eased down to 4.4 per cent for February.
“Major Asian markets have closed on a positive note barring the Jakarta and Shanghai indices, while European indices like DAX, CAC 40 and FTSE 100 traded in the green,” Jasani added.
In terms of the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap index edged higher by 1 per cent and the small-cap index by 1.14 per cent.
On the currency front, the Indian rupee strengthened by 14 paise to close at 64.90 against the US dollar from its previous close at 65.04.
In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors purchased scrips worth Rs 7,028.42 crore and domestic institutional investors worth Rs 1,613.39 crore.
Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said: “Market gained a positive momentum on account of easing inflation and better than expected IIP (Index of Industrial Production) data.”
“However, selling in IT and profit booking in banks failed to keep positivity throughout the day. Benign inflation will provide more room to RBI to maintain the current stance rather to consider a rate hike in the near term,” he added.
During the day’s trade, TCS scrips plunged over five per cent on announcements of block deals on both the BSE and NSE.
“TCS shares fell 5.1 per cent after reports of Tata Sons’ plans to sell $1.25 billion of its stake in the company,” Desai added.
Sectorwise, the S&P BSE IT index fell by 196.78 points, followed by Teck (technology, media and entertainment) index by 71.51 points and FMCG index by 1.22 points.
On the other hand, the S&P BSE consumer durables index surged by 282.75 points, oil and gas index by 250.17 points and healthcare index by 140.65 points.
Major Sensex gainers on Tuesday were: Axis Bank, up 2.23 per cent at Rs 530.80; Sun Pharma, up 2.04 per cent at Rs 522.90; Wipro, up 1.65 per cent at Rs 295.55; Dr Reddy’s Lab, up 1.60 per cent at Rs 2,181.40; and Bharti Airtel, up 1.22 per cent at Rs 425.90.
The Sensex losers were: TCS, down 5.22 per cent at Rs 2,892.45; Kotak Bank, down 1.46 per cent at Rs 1,084.55; Coal India, down 1.02 per cent at Rs 294.75; NTPC, down 0.94 per cent at Rs 169.40; and Maruti Suzuki, down 0.66 per cent at Rs 8,753.50.