Market pauses for breath; Sensex, Nifty off record highs

Market pauses for breath; Sensex, Nifty off record highs

Market pauses for breath; Sensex, Nifty off record highs
After ruling at historic highs for two consecutive sessions, the market today paused to catch some breath with both the Sensex and the Nifty coming down from record highs as investors maintained cautious stance ahead of the outcome of the RBI policy meet.

Continuing their dream bull run, though briefly, into the third day today, the BSE benchmark Sensex hit another intra- day record of 31,430.32 in early trade and the NSE Nifty breached the psychological 9,700-level for the first time, before retreating.

But the market's record-setting spree short-lived and the 30-share Sensex shed almost 119 points to end at 31,190.56, while Nifty slumped nearly 38 points to finish at 9,637.15.

Some level of circumspection ahead of tomorrow's RBI policy review outcome resulted in profit-booking. Also, market participants holding their bets ahead of the UK general elections and the European Central Bank (ECB) meeting added to the overall weak sentiment.

Besides, the trading came under pressure tracking the gulf diplomatic crisis following the Arab countries' decisions led by Saudi Arabia to sever all ties with the tiny-yet- wealthy peninsular nation of Qatar over Islamist support.

"Strong monsoon onset and RBI meet underpinned markets helping Nifty to 9,700, but weak Asian cues and rising tensions in the middle east kept risk appetite under check. With GST deadline looming, focus is now on the executional issues, and the preparedness of firms to meet the rollout deadline,” Geojit Financial Services' Chief Market Strategist Anand James said.

The market sentiment took a short-term reversal in the absence of any meaningful fresh domestic triggers and also concerns of stretched valuation. However, bucking the broader market trend, IT services majors TCS, Infosys and wipro gained as much as 3.70 per cent on good amount of buying activity after recent sell-offs, which kept the Sensex fall under check.

The BSE 30-share barometer opened at an all-time high of 31,420.85 and traded in the range of a historic peak of 31,430.32 and a low of 31,172.55, before concluding at 31,190.56, showing a fall of 118.93 points, or 0.38 per cent.

Similarly, the broader NSE 50-share Nifty also followed the suit, opening at a new high of 9,704.25 and gained further ground to hit a new high of 9,709.30. Intra-day, the Nifty slumped to a low of 9,630.20 before closing at 9,637.15, a steep loss of 37.95 points, or 0.39 per cent.

Meanwhile, Foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 476.64 crore yesterday as per provisional data released by the stock exchanges. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) had also bought shares worth a net Rs 13.62 crore.

Overseas, European stocks edged lower amid geopolitical worries as investors took a cautious approach ahead of a general election in the UK and a ECB meeting.

Key indices in Europe like France, Germany and the UK were trading lower by 0.07 per cent to 0.41 per cent. Most Asian stocks dropped following the lower close on Wall Street yesterday. South Korean markets are closed for Memorial Day.

In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong settled higher by 0.19 per cent to 0.36 per cent. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index closed 0.95 per cent lower. Taiwan market dropped by 0.20 per cent.

Back home, out of the 30-share Sensex pack, 24 scrips ended lower while only six closed higher. Major losers were Tata Motors 3.58 per cent, NTPC 2.65 per cent, ONGC 2.28 per cent, ITC 2.05 per cent, L&T 1.60 per cent, Sun Pharma 1.53 per cent, Reliance 1.17 per cent, Bharti Artl 1.07 per cent, Power Grid 0.93 per cent, Bajaj Auto 0.88 per cent, M&M 0.83 per cent and Hero Motoco 0.70 per cent.

However, TCS rose by 3.63 per cent followed by Infosys 2 per cent, Wipro 0.91 per cent and Dr Reddy 0.61 per cent. Among sectoral indices, consumer durables dropped by 2.01 per cent followed by power 1.62 per cent, industrials 1.38 per cent, realty 1.36 per cent, FMCG 1.35 per cent, utilities 1.22 per cent, capital goods 1.15 per cent and auto 1.08 per cent, while IT rose by 2.33 per cent and teck 1.64 per cent.

The S&P BSE Mid-Cap index provisionally fell 0.62 per cent. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index provisionally declined 0.65 per cent. The decline in both the indices was higher than the Sensex fall in percentage terms.

The market breadth turned negative as 1,774 stocks ended lower, 924 closed higher while 160 ruled steady. The total turnover on BSE amounted to Rs 3,410.00 crore, higher than turnover of Rs 3,012.89 crore registered during the previous trading session.