Closing Bell

Markets Eke Out Slim Gains; Nifty Scales Fresh Peak

Buoyancy in investor sentiment continues; rupee closes at 74.22 against the dollar

Markets Eke Out Slim Gains; Nifty Scales Fresh Peak
Markets Eke Out Slim Gains; Nifty Scales Fresh Peak
PTI - 26 August 2021

Equity benchmarks Sensex and Nifty ended on a flat note for the second straight session on Thursday amid expiry of monthly derivative contracts and a muted trend overseas.

After trading range-bound through the session, the 30-share BSE Sensex ended just 4.89 points or 0.01 per cent higher at 55,949.10.

Extending its rising streak for the fourth day, the broader NSE Nifty advanced 2.25 points or 0.01 per cent to its fresh closing peak of 16,636.90.

Reliance Industries was the top gainer in the Sensex pack, rising 1.29 per cent, followed by M&M, HCL Tech, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, HUL and Nestle India.

On the other hand, Bharti Airtel, Maruti, PowerGrid, SBI, Tata Steel, NTPC and Sun Pharma were among the laggards, tumbling up to 4.18 per cent.

"Indian market started flat to marginally negative, following negative Asian market cues as South Korea’s central bank hiked interest rates, making it the first developed economy to do so in the pandemic era," said Narendra Solanki, Head of Equity Research (Fundamental), Anand Rathi.

During the afternoon session, markets attempted a comeback, following buying in blue chip stocks from across various sectors, he said, adding that sentiments were positive amid reports that Indian economic growth likely touched a record high in the June quarter.

However, markets trimmed their gains in the closing session as a report from ratings agency Moody’s said India's second Covid-19 wave has increased asset risks for banks in retail and the SME loan segment, he noted.

Meanwhile, US equities extended gains in overnight session with S&P 500 and Nasdaq witnessing fresh record highs ahead of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech on Friday at the Jackson Hole Symposium.

"The Indian markets, over the past few days, have been consolidating close to their all-time high levels, well supported by positive global cues, especially with a continuing positive set-up in the US markets with both Nasdaq and S&P 500 indices making new highs.

"The buoyancy in the Indian markets is continuing despite FIIs having turned sellers... in the past few days. However, the headline indices, to some extent, are masking the weakness in the broader markets, especially in the midcap and the small-cap space, where for a large number of stocks, we have seen corrections ranging between 10-25 per cent from their recent highs," said Milind Muchhala, Executive Director, Julius Baer.

Sector-wise, BSE energy, power, oil and gas, capital goods, FMCG and industrials indices rose up to 1.14 per cent, while telecom, metal, basic materials and teck indices ended in the red.

Broader BSE midcap and smallcap indices jumped up to 0.31 per cent.

Elsewhere in Asia, bourses in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Seoul ended in the red, while Tokyo was positive.

Equities in Europe were also trading with losses in mid-session deals.

International oil benchmark Brent crude fell 0.60 per cent to USD 70.85 per barrel.

The rupee rose 2 paise to close at 74.22 against the US dollar on Thursday.

Foreign institutional investors continued their selling spree, offloading shares worth a net Rs 1,071.83 crore on Wednesday, as per exchange data.

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