Market Wrap, March 1: Here’s all that happened in the markets today

Equity shares rebounded on Monday amid a broad-based buying after the benchmark indices suffered their biggest one-day drop on Friday. The lacklusture trade turned mildly volatile in the noon deals yet ended in the day’s-high territory. That apart, ease in 10-year government bond yields to 6.21 from 6.23 coupled with elevated pace of growth in manufacturing activity boosted sentiment.

Growth in manufacturing activities eased a bit in February to 57.5 compared to 57.7 in the previous month, but remained at an elevated level, showed the widely-tracked survey on IHS Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI). It must be noted that, a reading above 50 is growth and the one below it is contraction.

Effectively, riding on the back of gains in HDFC, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Infosys, Asian Paints, L&T, and Reliance Industries the headline S&P BSE Sensex settled at 49,850 levels, up 750 points or 1.5 per cent. The previously-mentioned stocks contributed nearly 366 points towards the total gain.

In percentage terms, Power Grid, ONGC, UltraTech Cement, Asian Paints, and Titan Company, up between 3 per cent and 6 per cent, were the top gainers on the BSE barometer. On the downside, only Bharti Airtel, down 4.5 per cent, ended the day in the red.

On NSE, the broader Nifty50 index closed above the 14,750-mark on the back of 232 points, or 1.6 per cent, gains. The index was quoting at 14,761 levels at 3:30 PM.

Meanwhile, the volatility index, India VIX, cooled-off 9 per cent to end near 25.6 levels.

In the broader markets, the S&P BSE SmallCap index outperformed the benchmark index with a close at 20,475 levels, up 1.6 per cent. The S&P BSE MidCap index, on the other hand, closed at 20,257 levels, up 1.4 per cent.

Consider for instance, shares of fertiliser companies extended their winning streak at the bourses amid a broad-based rally in the on Monday. Sentiment turned optimistic in the sector after rating agency ICRA reaffirmed credit ratings of the Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers instruments and revised outlook to ‘positive’ from ‘stable’.

The stock of RCF hit a fresh 52-week high of Rs 90.45, jumping 19 per cent on the BSE. In the past one week, the stock has zoomed 61 per cent, as compared to a 0.52 per cent rise in the S&P BSE Sensex.

National Fertilizers, on the other hand, was locked in the 20 per cent upper circuit, at Rs 63.70 today, on the back of heavy volumes. The stock of the state-owned company has skyrocketed 68 per cent in the past one week.

That apart, auto stocks remained outperformers on the BSE on the back of healthy sales figures for the month of February. Maruti Suzuki reported 12 per cent YoY growth in total sales, while Tata Motors clocked a 54 per cent YoY jump in domestic sales and 51 per cent increase in total sales. M&M, on the other hand, reported 11.4 per cent YoY improvement in total sales.

As regards two-wheelers, Bajaj Auto and TVS Motors reported 6 per cent and 18 per cent YoY growth, respectively. These shares ended up in the range of 1.5 per cent and 3.5 per cent.

Lastly, shares of RailTel Corporation of India (RailTel) was locked in the 20 per cent upper circuit band at Rs 146 in the intra-day trade on Monday after the institutional investors bought a stake in the company via open market on its debut day on Friday.

Against this backdrop, the advance to decline ratio favoured bulls as nearly 2x stocks rose for every 1 stock that declined on the BSE.

On the sectoral front, stocks of PSU Enterprises and automobile firms traded firmly at the bourses. While the Nifty PSE and CPSE indices closed 3 per cent and 4 per cent higher, respectively on hopes for speedy privatisation, the Nifty Auto index jumped over 2 per cent.

That apart, the Nifty Metal index closed 1.8 per cent higher while the Nifty Bank, Pharma, and Realty indices ended 1 per cent higher each.

Global markets

European shares jumped on Monday and the bond market calmed, with yields dropping from their recent spikes, while optimism about US fiscal stimulus sent oil prices higher.

European share indexes opened higher, with the STOXX 600 up 1.7 per cent. London’s FTSE 100 up 1.8 per cent and Germany’s DAX was up 1.3 per cent.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 49 countries, was up 0.5 per cent, recovering from the previous session’s multi-week low.

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