Sensex, Nifty end flat ahead of long weekend; Aviation stocks surge

Domestic equity indices BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty pared their day’s losses in the last half hour of trade and settled flat note on Wednesday as investors remained cautious ahead of the extended weekend. The 30-share Sensex closed 7.07 points up at 25,337.56, while Nifty 50 settled 1.60 points up at 7,716.50.

In the Nifty pack, Hindalco, Idea Cellular, Tata Steel, Bajaj Auto and YES Bank gained between 1.89 per cent and 4.37 per cent. On the other hand, Reliance Industries, PNB, Lupin, Bank of Baroda and GAIL slid between 1.53 per cent and 1.96 per cent.

Sectorwise, the BSE Oil & Gas index (down 1.10 per cent), BSE Consumer Durables (down 1 per cent), BSE Power (down 0.28 per cent) and BSE Bankex (down 0.24 per cent) ended in red. On the other hand, the BSE Metal index and BSE Telecom index gained 1.71 per cent and 1.19 per cent, respectively.

Stock markets will remain closed on Thursday and Friday on account of Holi and Good Friday.

Vinod Nair, head, fundamental research, Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services, said, “The market was in a holiday mood and investors took a cautionary approach ahead of the long weekend. The foreign inflows are coming back to India post budget, till date they have pumped more than Rs 220 bn in March compared to -Rs80 bn in Feb and -Rs115 bn in Jan. The next leg of the rally will depend on the RBI’s monitory policy decision on April 5. At present, we can expect a dovish policy with a cut of 25 basis points. Any positive outcome will keep the uptrend open till 7,900-8,000 in the near term for Nifty.”

Sensex opened the day at 25,322.10 and touched a high and low of 25,367.81 and 25,156.82, respectively, in trade. Nifty opened at 7717.45 and touched a high and low of 7,726.85 and 7,670.60, respectively.

Miners such as Hindalco Industries and Vedanta advanced 4.37 per cent and 0.68 per cent respectively, amid signs a revival in China’s housing market and supply cuts by firms like Glencore and Freeport McMoRan will help shore up copper prices.

Meanwhile, Infibeam Incorporation Ltd’s initial public offering which hit on markets on March 21 has been fully subscribed, exchange data showed. The e-commerce firm received orders for about 12.5 million shares on offer, according to data from the National Stock Exchange and BSE Ltd. The issue closed on March 23.

Asian equity markets ended mostly lower on Wednesday as falling oil prices and fresh geopolitical worries in light of Tuesday’s terrorist attacks in Brussels kept risk appetite in check ahead of the long Easter break beginning on Friday. Japanese shares fell in choppy trade as investors remained wary of movements in yen, oil and China’s yuan, which eased against the dollar today, despite a firmer midpoint setting by the People’s Bank of China. Seoul shares ended lower as investors braced for earnings and North Korea threatened a ‘miserable end’ for South Korea’s president and her American allies in its latest colorfully worded attack. But Chinese shares bucked the trend to finish higher, despite Fitch Ratings warning on banks’ profitability in 2016. Fitch expects Chinese bank profits to decline this year unless authorities relax the minimum NPL provisioning requirement of 150 percent.

Source: financialexpress