The equity markets ended flat with marginal losses on Thursday amid the monthly expiry of F&O contracts and mixed sentiment across global peers. Volumes in the market were also lower than average because of holidays, said market participants.
“Domestic equities opened on a subdued note but edged higher and remained in positive territory for major parts of the day amid monthly F&O expiry and tepid global cues. After a minor selling pressure in the last hour, Nifty managed to close above 17,200 mark with petty loss of ~10 points,” said Siddhartha Khemka, head – retail research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services.
The Sensex ended lower by 12.17 points at 57,794.32 with 14 of its constituents ending in the red. The Nifty declined 9.65 points to close at 17,203.95. Shares of Reliance Industries fell 1.9% intra-day, being the top loser in the Sensex pack. Tata Steel, Maruti Suzuki, Bajaj Finance, and SBI were other top losers in the index. In contrast, NTPC, HCL Tech, Titan Company, IndusInd Bank, and Wipro were among the top gainers in the pack.
Shares of RBL declined more than 9% in the day’s trade and hit a low of Rs 129.45 on the BSE, after the Reserve Bank of India approved the appointment of the new CEO. However, the overall Nifty Bank index ended higher by 18.20 points at 35,063.60 – led by shares of Au Small Finance Bank, IndusInd Bank and HDFC Bank.
Sector-wise, barring banks, IT, pharma and FMCG, all other sectors ended in the red amid weak buying interest from investors. The IT pack emerged as the top sectoral gainer, gaining 1%.
The broader markets ended with mixed figures. The BSE mid-cap index closed lower by 0.2%, whereas the BSE small-cap index added 0.19%. However, the overall market breadth supported gains as nearly 1,785 shares advanced and 1,584 stocks declined on the BSE.
Elsewhere in Asia, China’s Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.6% and 0.1%, respectively. Japan’s Nikkei 225 ended lower by 0.4% at 28,791.71.
Deepak Jasani, head of retail research, HDFC Securities, said: “Asian stock markets were mixed on Thursday after the Wall Street hit a high and new daily US coronavirus cases surged to a record. European shares inched higher on hopes that fresh coronavirus-related curbs and restrictions may not be needed going into the New Year.”