Market Wrap, March 24: Here’s all that happened in the markets today

Feeble global sentiment kept market gains in check as investors chose to stay on the sidelines on Wednesday. Asian shares skidded to a two-week trough on Wednesday and the dollar neared four-month highs as coronavirus lockdowns in Europe and potential US tax hikes hit risk appetite.

Add to it, North Korea is said to have fired non-ballistic cruise missiles over the weekend targeting the US. President Joe Biden, however, has said he does not consider North Korea’s act as a provocation.

Against this backdrop, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside of Japan fell 1.3 per cent, Japan’s Nikkei stumbled 2 per cent while South Korea’s KOSPI slipped 0.4 per cent. Chinese shares were in the red for a second day with the blue-chip CSI300 index down 1.65 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng skidded 2.2 per cent.

In Europe, the pan-regional STOXX 600 index fell 0.6 per cent in early trade. However, futures of three main US stock indices were trading higher in the range of 0.3 per cent to 1 per cent.

Back home, benchmark indices ended near 1-month lows amid across-the-board sell-off. The frontline S&P BSE Sensex plunged 931 points in the intra-day to hit a low of 49,120. The downfall was reversed mildly and the index closed at 49,180 level with a cut of 871 points, or 1.74 per cent. Only two constituents — Power Grid and Asian Paints — managed to settle the day in the green while all other counters fell like ninepins. M&M bled the most, down over 4 per cent on the Sensex, followed by SBI, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank, L&T, ITC, NTPC, and ONGC.

Weightage-wise, Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, HDFC, Infosys, Axis Bank, ITC, and SBI were responsible for 600 points cut in the Sensex. All these stocks were down between 1.5 per cent and 4 per cent.

On the NSE, Cipla was the only additional gainer on the Nifty as all other 47 constituents declined. The index ended at 14,549 level, down 265 points or 1.79 per cent.

In the broader markets, the S&P BSE MidCap and SmallCap indices ended 1.7 per cent and 1.6 per cent lower, respectively.

As regards the sectoral trends, all the key indices, barring pharma, ended the day in the red. The Nifty PSU Bank, Metal, and Realty indices slipped up to 3 per cent, while the Nifty Private Bank, Financial Services, Auto, and Bank indices were down up to 2 per cent. The Nifty Pharma index, meanwhile, was up 0.08 per cent.

Buzzing stocks

>> Shares of Anupam Rasayan India, on Wednesday, made a weak debut at the bourses, listing at Rs 520 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE), a 6 per cent discount over its issue price of Rs 555 per share. On the BSE, Anupam Rasayan opened at Rs 534.70, down 4 per cent from its issue price.

The stock later fell as much as 10 per cent to Rs 501.15 in intra-day trade but erased gains to close at Rs 526 on the BSE.

>> Shares of Rail Vikas Nigam Limited plunged 9 per cent to Rs 27.6 on the BSE in the intra-day trade on Wednesday as the government’s two days stake sale through offer for sale began today. The floor price has been fixed at Rs 27.50 a share, a 9.54 per cent discount to Tuesday’s closing price of Rs 30.40 apiece on the BSE.

A total 208.5 million equity shares or 10 per cent of the total paid-up equity capital of the company is being offered in the OFS. The government may choose to sell an additional 104.25 million equity shares or 5 per cent of the total equity capital of the company over and above the offer.

>> Shares of CG Power and Industrial hit an over two-year high of Rs 67.95, frozen in the 5 per cent upper circuit, band on the BSE ahead of the firm’s board meeting tomorrow to issue equity shares to Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) on preferential allotment basis. The stock was trading at its highest level since May 2018 and has been locked in the upper circuit for the third straight day.

>> Lastly, in the primary market, the three-day IPO of Barbeque Nation Hospitality was subscribed 96% till 4 PM on the first day of the issue.

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