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

Domestic indices started gap-up and extended their rally to clock gains of 490 points from previous day’s closing after the US Federal Reserve projected the US economy would grow by 6.5 per cent in 2021 – the largest annual output growth since 1984. However, the BSE barometer of 30 shares wiped off the gains completely and plunged 1,334 points from day’s high to hit a six-week low of 48,962.

came-off sharply in the noon deals on Thursday as US Treasury yields recorded a steep uptick of 5 per cent to hit 1.74%, causing equity holders to unwind their long positions. Besides, a single-day increase of over 35,800 Covid-19 cases in India, the highest since December 6, 2020, made market participants question the sustainability of the economic recovery.

While Mumbai’s mayor Kishori Pednekar said imposing a night curfew is necessary in the city, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh announced a two-hour extension in the night curfew in the state’s nine worst-affected districts. Delhi’s CM Arvind Kejriwal, on the other hand, held a review meeting and extended the timing of vaccination till 9 PM from 5 PM.

Given this, the S&P BSE Sensex index eventually ended at 49,216.5 levels, down 585 points or 1.2 per cent. On the NSE, the Nifty50 hit an intra-day high of 14,875 but dropped nearly 400 points to hit a low of 14,479. By close, the 50-share index was quoting at 14,558 levels, down 163 points or 1.1 per cent.

This was the indices fifth consecutive session of declines.

HCL Tech, Infosys, Dr Reddy’s Labs, NTPC, TCS, Reliance Industries, and Tech Mahindra, all down between 2 per cent and 3.5 per cent, were the top losers on the Sensex. Meanwhile, Divis Labs, GAIL, Hero MotoCorp, Axis Bank, Wipro, and Cipla were the additional losers on the Nifty.

On the upside, ITC, Bajaj Auto, Bharti Airtel, M&M, Maruti Suzuki, ONGC, HDFC, Power Grid, and Bajaj Finance closed as the top gainers.

The broader fell in-line with their large-cap counter with the S&P BSE Mid and SmallCap indices sliding 1.3 per cent and 1.6 per cent, respectively at close.

Individually, shares of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited rallied 7 per cent to Rs 53.80 on the BSE in intra-day trade on Thursday after the company said it has emerged as the lowest bidder for fleet mode tender floated by Nuclear Power Corporation of India. The shares ended 4 per cent higher at Rs 52 apiece.

That apart, shares of Dixon Technologies hit a new high following a 14 per cent rally to Rs 4,588 on the BSE in intra-day trade after the stock turned ex-stock split in the ratio of 1:5 i.e. from Rs 10 to Rs 2. The stock of the consumer electronics company surpassed its previous high of Rs 4,300 (adjusted to stock split) touched on March 15, 2021. The shares eventually settled around 6 per cent higher on the BSE.

Lastly, shares of Bharti Airtel recovered 2 per cent from day’s low and ended marginally higher after the telecom firm said Investment firm TPG’s Rise Fund will invest $200 million in Airtel Africa’s mobile money business at a valuation of $2.65 billion.

All the key sectoral indices, barring FMCG and Metal, were painted in red with the Nifty IT index, down 3 per cent, leading the list of losers.

Shares of information technology companies skid up to 5 per cent on the National Stock Exchange in intra-day trade on Thursday on account of profit booking ahead of Accenture’s second-quarter result fo fiscal year 2021. Among individual stocks, Infosys and HCL Technologies slipped 5 per cent each while Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Tech Mahindra, Wipro, Mphasis and Coforge were down in the range of 3 per cent to 4 per cent on the NSE.

Accenture, in a post-market hour development, reported revenue growth of 8 per cent in US dollar terms at $12.1 billion, and of 5 per cent in local currency. It now expects full-year revenue growth of 6.5% to 8.5% in local currency; and operating margin of 15% to 15.1%.

That apart, the Nifty PSU Bank and Realty indices declined 2 per cent each, while the Nifty Bank, Private Bank, and Financial Services indices slipped 1 per cent each.

The Nifty Auto index, meanwhile, settled 0.15 per cent lower after Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said the draft Vehicle Scrappage Policy will be in public domain for the next 30 days. According to him, the policy is aimed at reducing the population of old and defective vehicles, bringing down vehicular air pollutants, improving road and vehicular safety.

Besides, it will help in achieving better fuel efficiency, formalising the informal vehicle scrapping industry, and boost the availability of low-cost raw materials for the automotive, steel and electronics industry.

Primary market

In the primary market, the three-day issues of Nazara Technologies and Suryoday SFB have been subscribed 10.3 times and 97 per cent till 4:30 PM on the second day of the issue. That of Kalyan Jewellers, meanwhile, was subscribed 2.6 times on the last day.

Global markets

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.87 per cent, while stocks in China rose 0.74 per cent. Australia’s market bucked the trend and fell 0.73 per cent.

In Europe, Germany’s blue-chip DAX rose 0.7 per cent, France’s CAC 40 was up 0.2 per cent, while UK’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.1 per cent ahead of the Bank of England’s monetary policy decision due later in the day. The wider pan-European STOXX 600 rose 0.3 per cent.

The Nasdaq and S&P 500 futures, however, sank 1 per cent and 0.4 per cent, respectively while Dow Jones Futures were up 0.12 per cent.

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