Mumbai, Aug 30: A good recovery in the last hour of trade helped D-Street cut big losses and end August series on a slightly better note. However, the Nifty managed to close below 11,700-mark. For the series, Nifty gained around 5 percent, while the Midcap index ended higher by 7 percent.
A weak rupee weighed on indices through the day, with the Indian currency dropping to a fresh low of 70.8550. Analysts had attributed the fall to rising crude oil prices and month-end dollar buying by oil companies to pay these off.
Among sectors, FMCG, metals and pharma along with PSU banks were the top gainers, while auto, energy and Bank Nifty were the big laggards. In the broader markets, the Nifty Midcap index ended over one-fifth of a percent higher.
A sharp surge in stocks such as ICICI Bank, ITC, helped the market stay afloat, while weakness in RIL dragged the benchmark index.
“Stocks markets traded under pressure through the day only to stage a smart recovery towards the end of the trading session and close near the flat line. Along with the US-China trade concerns, another bout of weakness in the Indian currency dampened investor sentiment. Global markets traded lower as well as investors continued to monitor global trade talks which lent uncertainty to the immediate direction of the markets,” Abhijeet Dey, Senior Fund Manager-Equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund said in a statement.
D-Street had a flat start on Thursday morning, with bulls unable to cash in on good global cues. Traders could have been wary of weak Indian currency as well. But a selloff in banks dragged indices lower in the afternoon session, before staging a recovery in the last hour.
At the close of market hours, the Sensex ended lower by 32.83 points or 0.08% at 38690.10, while the Nifty was down 12.20 points or 0.10% at 11679.70. The market breadth was positive as 1,441 shares advanced, against a decline of 1,255 shares, while 169 shares were unchanged.
Sun Pharma and Tata Steel were the top gainers, while Maruti Suzuki, IndusInd Bank, Eicher Motors and Bajaj Finance have lost the most.
Stocks in the news
Jet Airways recouped losses but still ended lower by 1.7 percent on Thursday. The airline was in the news on Wednesday after a Business Standard report said that the income tax department was probing a land deal between the airline and Godrej Buildcon land development deal.
Shares of government-owned telecom operator MTNL (Mahanagar Telephone Nigam) rose 10 percent intraday on Thursday based on a report that informed about Rs 30,600-crore financial aid from Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
Global research firm Credit Suisse has maintained an outperform rating on Sun Pharma with an increased target of Rs 705 apiece. It said that the risk mitigation of Absorica (acne medication) should drive rerating on the stock, but a genericisation in December 2020 is a key overhang. The stock closed 3% higher.
Shares of Axis Bank fell 1 percent even as UBS raised target price on the stock from Rs 765 from Rs 675. The broking firm sees a potential upside of 16.5 percent. UBS believes that the lender is well placed to gain market share in deposits. It also observed that asset quality clean-up was nearing the end.
Shares of ITI jumped 19.8 percent as company received work order worth Rs 6,633.56 crore.
Equity markets in Asia closed lower, erasing major gains through the day. Down Under, the ASX 200 ended the trading day in flat territory and closed at 6,351.80.