Benchmark equity indices - Sensex and Nifty - ended marginally higher on Wednesday after a heavy sell-off in shares of heavyweight Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) at the fag-end of the trading session. After rallying 777 points amid positive sentiments across global markets on hopes of a coronavirus vaccine, Sensex surrendered gains in the last hour of trade. The 30-share index settled just 18.75 points, or 0.05 per cent, higher at 36,051.81. On similar lines, the NSE Nifty closed 10.85 points, or 0.10 per cent, up at 10,618.20. It had soared 220 points during the session. Infosys, HCL Tech, TCS, Tech Mahindra, Axis Bank and HUL ended with robust gains.
"We're seeing a tussle between the bulls and bears for the last couple of sessions and we feel it would be healthy if the market witnesses some correction after the recent surge. However, the resilience of global markets would help the index to limit the downside. Amid all, stocks may continue to witness volatile swings on both sides thus traders have no option but to position themselves accordingly," said Ajit Mishra, VP - Research, Religare Broking.
Here are 7 things to know before Thursday's opening bell:
In its 43rd annual general meeting (AGM), RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani announced that Google will invest Rs 33,737 crore to buy a 7.7 per cent stake in Jio Platforms, completing RIL's capital-raising target for the digital arm. Shares of RIL plunged around 4 per cent after scaling its life-time high of Rs 1,978.50 as investors rushed to book profits after the company's AGM.
Infosys Q1 results
IT stocks will be in focus on Thursday's trade after Infosys announced Q1 FY21 results today. Shares of Infosys rallied around 6 per cent ahead of its quarterly earnings. In Q1, the country's second largest company by revenue today reported a 12.4 per cent rise in consolidated net profit to Rs 4,272 crore for the June 2020 quarter. Its revenue grew 8.5 per cent to Rs 23,665 crore in the quarter under review from Rs 21,803 crore in the corresponding period last fiscal, it added.
Banks, financial stocks down
IT was the biggest gainer, up 5.2 per cent post strong results from Wipro. Pharma, FMCG, Auto and Metals also ended marginally in green. However, Banks (-0.2 per cent), Financial Services (-0.3 per cent), Energy (-1.9 per cent), Infra (-1.9 per cent), Media (-1.7 per cent) and Realty (-2.1 per cent) saw selling pressure.
Contracting for the fourth straight month, India''s exports declined by 12.41 per cent to $21.91 billion in June mainly due to drop in shipments of petroleum, textiles, engineering goods, and gems and jewellery items. Imports too plunged 47.59 per cent to $21.11 billion in June, leaving a trade surplus of USD 0.79 billion, compared to a deficit of $15.28 billion in the same month of the last year, according to the data released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry today.
India has seen a spike of 29,429 COVID-19 cases and 582 deaths in the last 24 hours, Health Ministry data shows. With this, the total positive cases stand at 9,36,181, including 3,19,840 active cases, 5,92,032 recoveries and 24,309 deaths. Though cases continue to rise in India, the recovery rate among COVID-19 patients has increased to 63.20 per cent.
Weak global cues
Bourses in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul ended with gains, while Shanghai was in the red. Stock exchanges in Europe were also trading with significant gains as of now. Traders said investors turned cautious given rising coronavirus cases and percolating tensions between the US and China.
"Going ahead the market should consolidate in the near term given persistent rise in virus cases and implementation of fresh lockdowns in certain parts of the country. Further the ongoing earnings season would also keep the markets volatile. Even technically, Nifty has broken its rising support trend line and could continue to decline towards 10,500-10,450 zones. We would advise traders to stay cautious, while investors should be more defensive in their portfolio approach," said Siddhartha Khemka, Head - Retail Research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services.
"The short term trend of Nifty is weak. Wednesday's higher levels weakness could signal a possibility of more declines in the short term. Any intraday up moves could run into resistance. The selling momentum is expected to be picked up on a slide below 10,550. The down side targets for Nifty to be watched around 10,350-10,300 for the next one week. Immediate resistance is placed around 10,750-10,800 for the next few sessions," said Nagaraj Shetti, Technical Research Analyst, HDFC Securities.
"Technically, Nifty has been trading in an Upward Rising Channel formation with strong support of its Lower Band of the formation at 10,550 level from where a bounce can be expected. At present level, support comes at 10,550 while resistance comes at 10,850-10,900," said Sumeet Bagadia, Executive Director, Choice Broking.
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