Market indices ended on a flat note in Thursday's session ahead of RBI MPC meet outcome. Sensex ended 14 points higher at 44,632 and Nifty gained 20 points to hit 13,133. Analysts said investors were awaiting the outcome of the Reserve Bank of India's Monetary Policy Committee's three-day interest rate-setting meeting that started Wednesday, with the decision due on Friday. Economists expect the RBI to leave interest rates unchanged or a third straight meeting amid high inflation and with Q2 GDP numbers contracting to a lower degree than Q1 in the current fiscal.
On the currency front, the Indian rupee closed 12 paise lower at 73.93 per US currency after a range-bound trade as investors remained cautious ahead of the RBI policy meet outcome.
Earlier, Sensex and Nifty hit record highs in the opening session today, tracking gains in index majors HDFC Bank, Reliance Industries and Maruti amid largely positive cues from global markets. At the opening bell, Sensex touched a lifetime high of 44,953 and Nifty hit an all-time high of 13,216 amid a rise in their global peers. With today's rally, Sensex has gained 8.47% since the beginning of this year and Nifty has risen 8.17% during the same period. Interestingly, Sensex and Nifty have gained 11.20% and 11.44%, respectively in one month.
Tata Steel followed by Maruti, ONGC, HDFC Bank, Tech Mahindra, L&T, HCL Tech and SBI were among the top gainers in the Sensex pack. On the other hand, Axis Bank, Infosys, TCS, Bharti Airtel and M&M were among the laggards. On the sectoral front, the gains led by PSU banking, metals, media, and auto stocks were capped by losses in IT, private banks and financials.
Yesterday in the US, the S&P 500 climbed to a record closing high amid positive macroeconomic data flow, developments on US coronavirus stimulus negotiations and hopes of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Asian markets were mostly positive as investors reacted to the release of a private survey on China's services sector activity in November. China's Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers' Index for November released Thursday came in at 57.8, rising from October's reading of 56.8. PMI readings above the 50 mark signify expansion, while those below that level represent contraction. However, trades in the global markets also remained lackluster in the later session.
On markets closing --Manish Hathiramani, proprietary index trader and technical analyst, Deen Dayal Investments said,"After a marginal gap up, the Nifty failed to cross 13150 on a closing basis. This is a stiff resistance zone for the index. If we are successful in closing above 13150, we can achieve 13250-13300 which will be the next resistance level where the markets can witness selling pressures."
Ajit Mishra, VP - Research, Religare Broking said," Subdued global cues combined with caution ahead of the RBI's monetary policy outcome was weighing on the sentiment. We expect the rate-sensitive pack, especially banking and financials, to be in focus on Friday, thanks to the scheduled outcome of RBI's MPC meeting. The banking index has been witnessing consolidation in line with the benchmark and might see a directional move after the event. Meanwhile, traders should restrict leveraged positions and wait for clarity."
Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services said," The broad market is continuing its buoyancy led by a rally in mid & small-cap stocks. This trend can continue given the gap between the pricing of main and broad stocks. Hopes are alive that economic recovery will grow wider as fresh covid cases are reducing, adding strength to the momentum"