Domestic equity indices extended losses for the straight second session on Friday and settled lower. Fears of the global economic slowdown and hawkish US Fed jittered the market sentiments. Even, the Q3 earnings by heavyweights like Reliance Industries kept the market anxious.
For the day, the BSE Sensex dropped 236.66 points, or 0.39 per cent, to close at 60,621.77. The NSE's barometer Nifty50 settled the day at 18,027.65, falling 80.20 points or 0.44 per cent. BSE midcap and smallcap indices shed half a per cent each during the day.
Local markets underperformed other Asian peers in a lackluster trend as absence of any fresh positive triggers continued to weigh on the sentiment. Profit taking in telecom and realty shares led the downfall even as selective buying was seen in banking, power and oil & gas shares, said Amol Athawale, Deputy Vice President - Technical Analyst at Kotak Securities.
"For the index, 18,000 or 20-day SMA would act as a sacrosanct support zone in the near future," he said, "Above the same, the index could retest the level of 18,150-18,200. On the flip side, below 18,000 a bearish sentiment is likely to accelerate and below the same the index could slip to 17,850."
On a sectoral front, only banking and financial counters were able to settle with gains. Nifty media, FMCG, metal, realty and auto indices plunged about a per cent each.
Hindustan Unilever topped among the losers in the Nifty50 pack. It plunged 4 per cent after Q3 results. Asian Paints' earnings also disappointed the street and the stock plunged 3 per cent. Bajaj Finance and Nestle India also declined 3 per cent each. JSW Steel weakened 2 per cent ahead of its earnings.
Among the gainers, Coal India and Power Grid jumped more than a per cent each. HDFC Bank, HDFC, ITC, ICICI Bank and Tata Motors added a per cent each. Only 13 Nifty stocks were able to settle in green for the day.
Shaking off the weak lead from Wall Street, domestic indices attempted to trade higher due to economic optimism that stemmed from China’s reopening, said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services. "However, concerns over the global economic slowdown eventually caught up and dragged markets lower," he said.
Nureca hit an upper circuit of 20 per cent amid the heavy trading volumes, whereas Hariom Pipers and Ashapura Minechem jumped 12 per cent each. Fiem Industries, Nahar Polyfilms, 63Moons Technologies and SPEC gained 7-11 per cent each. Among the losers, Kiri Industries, Arvind Smartspaces, Music Broadcast and MFL shed 6-7 per cent each.
Anand Rathi, Anant Raj, Engineers India, Hi Tech Pipers, IIFL Wealth Management, Jindal Stainless, Larsen & Toubro, Saksoft, Sula Vineyards, and Usha Martine were among 45 stocks that hit 52-week high during the session on NSE. Stocks such as Aarti Industires, Atul, Biocon, Gland Pharma, Himatsinkga Seide, Quess Corp, Nureca and Relaxo Footwears hit their 52-week low during the day.
A total of 3,639 stocks that traded for the day on BSE, of which 1,916 settled lower, while 1,570 settled higher. Remaining 153 stocks ended unchanged. A total 260stocks hit an upper circuit on BSE, whereas 101 stock hit the lower circuit during the trading session.
Shares of One 97 Communications (Paytm) climbed 4 per cent in Friday's trade amid hopes the company would be able to beat September 2023 breakeven guidance. A media report that quoted Paytm's Vijay Shekhar Sharma as suggesting that the company might be able to deliver profit much before its guidelines.
Havells India's share plunged about 4 per cent on Friday after the electrical appliance maker disappointed in the December 2022 quarter. On the contrary, Coforge rose 4 per cent after the IT firm announced its earnings for the quarter ended December 31, 2022.
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