Benchmark indices closed modestly higher on Friday as fag-end choppiness trimmed most of the day’s gains amid a largely firm trend in overseas markets. Global investors were in a wait-and-watch mode ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech at the annual Jackson Hole symposium, where he is expected to provide clues on the US central bank’s rate hike trajectory.
The BSE Sensex opened firm and soared over 500 points to an intra-day high of 59,321.65, but succumbed to profit-booking towards the end of the session. It finally closed at 58,833.87, up 59.15 points or 0.10 percent. Along similar lines, the broader NSE Nifty advanced 36.45 points or 0.21 percent to end at 17,558.90.
NTPC was the biggest gainer among the Sensex constituents, spurting 2.80 percent, followed by Titan, PowerGrid, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Larsen & Toubro, Tech Mahindra, Tata Steel and Mahindra & Mahindra. On the other, IndusInd Bank, HDFC, Asian Paints, Bharti Airtel, Dr Reddy’s and Reliance Industries were among the prominent laggards, shedding as much as 1.92 percent.
The market breadth was positive, with 21 of the 30 Sensex stocks closing in the green. “Investors’ lack of confidence and caution in anticipation of the Fed chair’s remarks led to a significant sell-off towards the close of the session. Western markets are trading with cuts as they await clues on further policy actions by the Fed to tame elevated inflation. This is expected to impact demand.
“On the sectoral front, metals and PSBs led the rally, while IT turned green after continued selling pressure,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services. On a weekly basis, the Sensex tumbled 812.28 points or 1.36 percent, while the Nifty lost 199.55 points or 1.12 percent.
“The benchmark indices headed toward a weekly decline, ending the 5-week-long positive streak. The market witnessed some profit booking amid concerns over the outcome of the US Fed speech later Friday,” said Sunil Damania, Chief Investment Officer, MarketsMojo. “Indian equities have seen positive momentum in the recent week with an increased infusion of foreign funds and easing domestic inflation numbers… FIIs have infused close to Rs 50,000 crore in the equity markets this month, the highest in the last 20 months. The recent correction in commodity prices and the retreating US Dollar from record highs has aided the re-entry of FIIs in the Indian markets,” he added.
In the broader market, the BSE midcap gauge climbed 0.40 percent and smallcap index gained 0.35 percent in Friday’s session. Among the BSE sectoral indices, metal climbed 1.62 percent, followed by consumer durables (1.50 percent), utilities (1.31 percent), industrials (1.25 percent), power (1.18 percent) and basic materials (1.06 percent). FMCG, healthcare and realty were the laggards.
Elsewhere in Asia, markets in Seoul, Tokyo, and Hong Kong ended in the green, while Shanghai closed with losses. Stock markets in Europe were trading lower during mid-session deals. Wall Street had ended with gains on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the international oil benchmark Brent crude jumped 1.14 percent to USD 100.5 per barrel. The rupee appreciated by 6 paise to close at 79.86 (provisional) against the US dollar on Friday, supported by foreign fund inflows. Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) bought shares worth a net Rs 369.06 crore on Thursday, according to exchange data.