Business Today

Sensex ends the day flat; Nifty below 7,500-mark; GAIL top gainer

The headline indices were trading flat as investors took profits after a month-long rally and grew wary of the market's near-term prospects ahead of major central bank meetings.

BT Online   New Delhi     Last Updated: March 9, 2016  | 09:26 IST
Market breadth remained positive with 16 of the 30 Sensex components ending the day in green. Photo: Reuters

Extending gains, albeit marginally, for the fifth consecutive session, the S&P BSE Sensex ended in green, however, broader CNX Nifty closed in red to quote below its key 7,500-mark.

The headline indices scuttled between red and green as investors booked profits in banking shares such as State Bank of India amid cautious trading ahead of major central bank meetings.

The 30-share index ended the day at 24,659, up 12.75 points, while broad-based 50-share index quoted 7,485, down 0.05 points.

Market breadth remained positive with 16 of the 30 Sensex components ending the day in green.

GAIL was the best performing stock on Sensex and settled the day 2.50 per cent higher on the BSE.

Asian stock markets also wobbled, after they hit a two-month high in the previous session, ahead of the European Central Bank's policy review on Thursday and US Federal Reserve's policy meeting next week.

"It's a retracement that we are seeing after last week's rally," said AK Prabhakar, head of research at IDBI Capital.

"Now the fresh selloff has started and its mainly because of the global factors," Prabhakar added.

Global factors will likely continue to influence domestic markets in the days ahead.

But investors remain hopeful the Reserve Bank of India could cut interest rates even before its next policy review on April 3 after the government last week stuck to its fiscal deficit target for next year.

State-run lenders such as State Bank of India and Punjab National Bank fell 2-3 per cent after a rally last week that was spurred by the RBI's move to ease capital requirement rules.

Just Dial slumped 13.51 per cent as investors booked profits following a near 42 per cent surge in the past four sessions. Goldman Sachs downgraded the company to "sell", partly on fears about the company's core search business.

Among the gainers, miners NMDC and Steel Authority of India jumped 6.12 per cent and 8.11 per cent, respectively, on strong metals trade data from China, the world's top metal consumer.

Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Composite ended with an uptick of 0.41 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index shed 0.73 per cent. Japan's Nikkei also fell 0.76 per cent after revised government data showed the Japanese economy shrank at an annualized 1.1 per cent in the final quarter of 2015.

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