An evening walk down Dalal Street | Smart recovery helps indices end off day’s lows; Nifty holds 10,600

A smart recovery by the bulls ensured that the market ended off day’s low points. The Nifty managed to hold 10,600-mark, while Sensex recovered over 200 points off lows.

Tepid global markets along with rising crude oil prices also added to the pressure on equities during the day.

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The Nifty touched an intraday low of 10,583, but recovered sharply in the last hour of trade. On the broader markets front, BSE Midcap ended with gains of 0.4%, while BSE Smallcap index ended on a flat note.

The day began on a lower note, with the Sensex falling 100 points in the opening minutes. Weakness further continued among the market through the day before the bulls swing into action at the time of close.

“We continue to maintain our cautious view on the Indian markets in the near term given slowdown in the global economy. On the domestic front, stock specific volatility would remain high as more companies are likely to come out with quarterly results. Further, political uncertainty and a possible fiscal slippage by the government is likely to weigh on domestic sentiments. Till budget 2019 concludes, we expect markets to remain volatile. Hence, we advise investors and traders to focus on stocks with prudent management and sound fundamentals,” Jayant Manglik, President, Religare Broking said in a statement.

At the close of market hours, the Sensex was down 64.20 points or 0.18% at 35592.50, while the Nifty was down 9.30 points or 0.09% at 10652.20. The market breadth was negative as 1124 shares advanced, against a decline of 1370 shares, while 136 shares were unchanged.

Sun Pharma, Bajaj Finance, Adani Ports and Bharti Infratel gained the most, while Yes Bank, L&T, Eicher Motors and GAIL lost the most.

Stocks in the News

Shares of HDFC ended lower after its assets under management (AUMs) were reportedly lowest in five quarters.

Bajaj Finance ended 4 percent higher as AUMs grew above 40%.

Meanwhile, a hit on volume growth dragged the stock of Godrej Consumer.

Share price of Bank of India surged 8 percent even after the lender’s net loss widened in the quarter ended December 2018.

Share price of Escorts tumbled 4 percent despite reporting strong numbers for the Sept-Dec 2018 quarter.

RBL Bank shares fell nearly 1.5 percent after the increase in provisions on higher slippages for December quarter, but analysts remained positive on the stock.

Persistent Systems shares rallied 3 percent as brokerages expect the stock to return 10-42 percent after third quarter earnings and buyback announcement.

Bajaj Finance’s third quarter (October-December) standalone profit increased sharply by 48 percent year-on-year to Rs 1,022.73 crore despite steep increase in provisions, driven by strong net interest income. The stock rose 2 percent.

Country’s fourth largest HCL Technologies’ third quarter (October-December) profit grew by 2.8 percent sequentially to Rs 2,611 crore, beating analysts’ estimates. The stock rose a percent.

Global Markets

European stocks were higher as investors awaited for cues from earnings and Brexit-related developments. Stoxx 600 index was up around 0.7 percent.Stocks in Asia were lower as fresh concerns over a slowing Chinese economy and renewed trade tensions weighed on investor sentiment. The Shanghai composite declined 0.1 percent to close at 2,594.25 and the Shenzhen component slipped 0.504 percent to finish its trading day at 7,551.30. The Shenzhen composite fell 1.114 percent to close at 1,300.34.