Markets end flat as investors pocket gains; ICICI Bank shines

FILE PHOTO: A private security guard sleeps inside an automated teller machine (ATM) booth of ICICI bank in New Delhi. Reuters

Stocks weathered yet another choppy session on Tuesday to end with modest gains as participants chose to book profits amid elevated global crude oil prices and geopolitical uncertainties.

ICICI Bank was the star performer in Tuesday's session, comfortably topping the gainers' list by surging nearly 7%.

The private sector lender on Monday reported a 45% drop in March quarter net profit following a spike in bad loans due to changes in asset classification norms.

However, investors took heart from the management's commentary that the bulk of the bad loans problem is behind it and the focus now shifts to recoveries and resolution, brokers said.

Global crude oil prices hovered above the $75 per barrel mark on uncertainties over the US re-imposing sanctions on Iran, fanning fears of a supply disruption.

The 30-share Sensex opened positive and advanced to the session's high of 35,388.87. However, profit-booking by investors ahead of Karnataka elections this week trimmed the gains, with the gauge sinking to the day's low of 35,136.01.

It finally settled 8.18 points or 0.02% higher at 35,216.32.

The NSE Nifty, after hitting a high of 10,758.55, closed at 10,717.80, up just 2.30 points, or 0.02%. It touched a low of 10,689.40 intra-day.

Meanwhile, domestic institutional investors (DIIs) net bought shares worth Rs 1,037.23 crore, while foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold equities worth Rs 635.24 crore on Monday, provisional data showed.

"Market turned volatile as investors are concerned on the movement of rupee and surge in oil price which could eventually lead to tight monetary policy.

"Albeit, banks outperformed as sentiment improved on account of early recognition of stressed assets. Continued outflow of foreign money will keep rupee on tenterhook while increasing GST collection and RBIs open market operation may soften the volatility," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

In the Sensex pack, ICICI Bank emerged on top with a rise of 6.86%, followed by SBI 1.42% and Axis Bank 1.18%.

Other winners were Power Grid 1.14%, Bharti Airtel 0.69%, NTPC 0.47%, TCS 0.39%, Maruti Suzuki 0.37%, Coal India 0.34%, Adani Port 0.29%, ITC 0.16%, Dr Reddy's 0.15% and HUL 0.13%.

On the other hand, M&M fell 2.26%, IndusInd Bank 1.78%, L&T 1.70%, Infosys 1.52%, YES Bank 1.19%, Tata Motors 0.88%, Bajaj Auto 0.87%, HDFC Bank 0.75%, Wipro 0.67%, Asian Paints 0.60%, HDFC 0.48%, RIL 0.43%, Sun Pharma O.40%, ONGC 0.35% and Kotak Mahindra Bank 0.25%.

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Markets end flat as investors pocket gains; ICICI Bank shines

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