Markets end flat, earnings season eyed

Markets end flat, earnings season eyed
Benchmark Sensex ended marginally lower in volatile trade today as wary investors remained on the sidelines ahead of the corporate results season.

Participants pocketed gains in auto, IT, oil and gas, tech and healthcare counters, which dragged the index lower in fag-end trading.

The 30-share Sensex opened a shade higher at 33,929.61 and advanced to 33,998.37, before falling to a low of 33,765.43.

It recovered some lost ground on value-buying and finally ended the day at 33,793.38, down 18.88 points, or 0.06 per cent.

The gauge had lost 244.57 points in the previous two sessions.

The broader NSE Nifty finished at 10,443.20, up just 1 point, or 0.01 per cent.

Intra-day, it hovered between 10,503.60 and 10,429.55.

"Market pared early gains due to lack of domestic triggers and rising oil prices impacting the premium valuation while global macros stayed positive and are giving support.

"Metals outperformed on the expectation of earnings growth whereas auto stocks witnessed profit booking after the recent run-up. Investors are awaiting the result season for signs of earnings upgrade," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) net bought shares worth Rs 522.74 crore yesterday. Domestic institutional investors (DIIs) also bought equities to the tune of Rs 64.70 crore.

Dr Reddy's was the biggest loser in the Sensex pack, sinking 2.97 per cent.

Other laggards were Wipro, ONGC, Bajaj Auto, Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, HDFC Bank, Infosys, NTPC, Sun Pharma, IndusInd Bank, Kotak Bank and HDFC Ltd, losing up to 2.73 per cent.

On the other hand, Adani Ports climbed 2.78 per cent, followed by L&T, ICICI Bank, Yes Bank, Coal India, Power Grid and Tata Steel.

Reliance Industries rose 0.54 per cent after the recent commissioning of a refinery off-gas cracker at Jamnagar.

Hero MotoCorp edged up 0.17 per cent following a healthy 43 per cent jump in December sales.

Titan rose 1.30 per cent after the company said its third-quarter jewellery retail growth is in-line with its expectation.

Punjab and Sind Bank jumped 3.32 per cent.

Fertiliser stocks were in demand. Nagarjuna Fertilizers gained 19.91 per cent, Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers Ltd 5.72 per cent, Gujarat State Fertilizers 2.49 per cent, National Fertilizers 4.05 per cent, Zuari Agro Chemicals 2.46 per cent, Mangalore Chemicals 3.59 per cent and Chambal Fertilisers 2.07 per cent.

Most of the damage came from the auto index, which fell 0.55 per cent. IT, oil and gas, tech and healthcare were the other losers in the sectoral space.

Bucking the trend, the BSE small-cap index rose 0.98 per cent while mid-caps gained 0.53 per cent.

Overseas, Asian markets finished higher. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.15 per cent and Shanghai Composite was up 0.62 per cent. The Japanese market was shut.

European stocks too joined the global market upmove in their early deals.

Key indices in Paris and Germany advanced up to 0.28 per cent. London's FTSE too rose 0.01 per cent.

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