Market Wrap, Feb 18: Here’s all that happened in the markets today

Caution after one of the longest bull-runs since 2003 continued to weigh on investor sentiment on Thursday as market participants booked profits in cyclically outperformers. That apart, expiry of the weekly F&O contracts also added to the volatility.

Among key indices, the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex tanked 379 points today to settle at 51,325 levels. From the day’s high of 51,904, the index skid over 700 points to hit a low of 51,187. At close, Bajaj Finance, Nestle, M&M, ICICI Bank, and HDFC, down up to 2.5 per cent, ended the day as the top losers.

On the upside, ONGC remained the outperformer, up 8 per cent on the BSE, after the government announced Rs 7.5 trillion infrastructure plan in the oil and gas sector over the next 5 years. Besides, NTPC, Asian Paints, Power Grid, Tech M, and IndusInd Bank were the other top gainers.

NSE’s Nifty50, on the other hand, slipped below the 15,150 levels to end at 15,119, down 90 points or 0.6 per cent. The advance to decline ratio remained neck and neck with 27 stocks declining on the Nifty against 23 stocks that advanced.

Gains in the broader market stocks, however, supported the overall market breadth. The S&P BSE SmallCap index moved closer to record high levels today as it soared on the back of gains in Indian Overseas Bank, Central Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra, OnMobile Global, Goldiam International, Magma Fincorp, Adani Total Gas, Shankara Building Products, and Majesco. The index, which hit a high of 20,128 in the intra-day, ended 0.66 per cent higher today at 20,015 levels.

The S&P BSE MidCap, on the other hand, closed at 20,376 levels, up 0.7 per cent.

Sectorally, the Nifty PSU Bank index jumped another 5.6 per cent today, while the Nifty CPSE and Energy indices settled up to 4 per cent higher. On the downside, the Nifty Financial Services, Auto, and Private Bank indices slipped up to 1.5 per cent each.

Among individual stocks that outperformed the included those of SBI Cards and Payment Services. The company today joined the elite club of companies having market capitalisation of Rs 1 trillion after the company’s stock price rallied 5 per cent to Rs 1,077, also its new high, on the BSE and touched a m-cap of Rs 1.01 trillion in the intra-day trade.

That apart, shares of Gujarat Gas zoomed 18 per cent, followed by Gujarat State Petronet (11 per cent), Indraprastha Gas (9 per cent), Mahanagar Gas (7 per cent) after the government said it would spendRs 7.5 trillion on the sector over the next five years.

Moreover, Shares of two listed state-owned insurance companies, New India Assurance Company and General Insurance Corporation of India were locked in the upper circuit of 20 per cent on the BSE on report that the government is considering privatisation of United India Insurance and General Insurance Corporation.

In the primary market, the three-day IPO of RailTel Corporation has been subscribed by 42 times till 4 PM on the last day of the issue.

Global markets

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.42 per cent, Australian stocks rose 0.01 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.14 per cent.

However, in signs that global sentiment were still buoyant, Euro Stoxx 50 futures were up 0.22 per cent, German DAX futures were up 0.15 per cent, and FTSE futures rose 0.3 per cent.

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