Dragged by banking and IT stocks, the 30-share pack Sensex declined 566.09 points or 0.94% to close at 59,610.41. Its broader peer NSE Nifty fell 149 points or 0.83% but managed to close above the 17,800 mark. However, both benchmarks recovered from day’s low as power and metal stocks offset some losses.
Though the benchmarks managed to eke out gains last month as traders were attracted by lower valuations, concerns linger around surging inflation and slowing economic growth. Both Nifty and Sensex have gained more than 5.5% between March 25 and April 4.
Comments late on Tuesday by Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard suggesting the central bank could trim its balance sheet faster than expected have rekindled fears of an economic downturn, fueling a selloff across markets.
“Investors seem to put ESG on the back burner for a while when free cash flows and positive tailwinds emerge stronger. While metal stocks saw keen interest supported by cooling coking coal prices, power stocks were in high demand ahead of the surge in summer demand,” said S Ranganathan of LKP securities.
The broader markets displayed buoyancy with advances outnumbering declines as PSU banks, sugar, paper and hospitality stocks were keenly sought after today, he added.
Market at a glance:
- Ruchi Soya shares crashed 19% after FPO allotment
- Wockhardt soared 7% after Jhunjhunwala bought additional 5 lakh shares in Q4
- Paytm jumped over 4% as monthly users rise to record in March quarter
- HDFC twins extended losses; fall more than 3%
- Tata Steel gained 1.5% as firm logged highest-ever annual crude steel production
- Barbeque-Nation ended 5.35% lower on the back of a large block deal
Top Performers & Laggards
HDFC twins declined for a second straight day, falling most in the Sensex pack. HCL Tech, Tech Mahindra, Infosys, TCS, Kotak Mahindra Bank also settled in the red, falling over 1-2% each. The Sensex and Nifty logged their worst day in over two weeks in Wednesday’s session.
NTPC was the top gainer from the 30-share pack, rising over 2.5%. Coal India, Tata Steel, Power Grid, Nestle, L&T, Bharti Airtel were other stocks that finished with gains in a choppy session.
IOL Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals ended 11.6% higher and were the biggest gainers on Nifty500 index.
Marico tanked 4.1%, the steepest decline in over four weeks, as a weak update and commentary from the FMCG player dented investor sentiments.
The company said that its revenue growth in the previous quarter was in the low single digits while highlighting the toll that high inflation was taking on consumption trends.
CLSA has maintained an underperform rating on Marico with a target price of Rs 530 per share.
Nifty Metal gained over 1% despite a 1% decline in Hindalco & Jindal Hisar. IT stocks remained under pressure ahead of earnings. Selling in bank counters dragged Nifty Bank over 1% lower. PSU Banks saw a sharp rise in the last hour of trade, Nifty PSU Bank ended 2% higher. Oil & gas, power and metal indices gained 1% each. 12 out of the 15 sector gauges — compiled by the NSE — ended in the red.
Broader indices outperformed their larger peers as mid- and small-cap shares finished on a weak note as Nifty Midcap 100 index fell 0.59% and small-cap shed 0.12%. YES Bank was the top midcap gainer, rising over 16%, a day after the private lender said its net advances grew 8.8% to Rs 181,508 crore in the fiscal ended March 31, 2022.
Market breadth was in favour of advances, according to BSE data.
About 2,163 shares advanced, 1250 shares declined and 99 shares remained unchanged. 183 stocks tested their 52-week highs, whereas 9 others tested their 52-week lows. 8 stocks hit their upper circuit limit, while 6 stocks were locked in the lower circuit.
Bourses in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Seoul settled lower, while Shanghai was in the green. The pan-European Stoxx 600 slipped 1.1% by late morning and futures on the Nasdaq 100 were down about 1.5% and contracts on the S&P 500 slid almost 1% following a drop in Wall Street shares led by the technology sector.