Snapping their 3-day winning streak, domestic equity markets traded range-bound in the negative territory on Friday, with a few episodes of gains. Amid mixed global cues and record Covid-19 cases back home, coupled with reports of vaccine supply crunch, the benchmark indices dropped 0.3 per cent today.
Among headline indices, the S&P BSE Sensex ended the day at 49,591 level, down 155 points. 50 per cent of the constituents ended the day in the red with Bajaj Finance (down 3 per cent), Ultratech Cement, NTPC, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank, and Reliance Industries leading the list of losers. On the upside, Sun Pharma, HUL, Tech Mahindra, Titan Company, Dr Reddy's Labs, and HCL Tech were the top gainers on the index, up in the range of 1 per cent to 3.5 per cent.
On the NSE, the 50-share barometer settled 39 points down at 14,835 levels, dragged down by UPL, Tata Steel, Coal India, and Axis Bank.
Trends in the broader markets were mixed as the S&P BSE SmallCap index closed 0.7 per cent higher while the S&P BSE MidCap index dipped 0.07 per cent.
The SmallCap index hit fresh record peak of 21,667, for second day in a row on the back of gains in Srei Infra, Butterfly Gandhimathi, Kilitch Drugs, Subex, Bank of Maharashtra, Aarti Surfactants, Vimta Labs, and Sasken Technologies.
Among individual stocks, shares of Srei Infrastructure Finance Limited hit 20 per cent upper circuit at Rs 7.02 on the BSE after its subsidiary Srei Equipment Finance Limited said it has received expression of interest for up to $250 million capital infusion in the company from international private equity (PE) funds.
Those of Khadim India, meanwhile, extended their winning run to the fourth day in a row and jumped over 7 per cent in the intra-day trade to hit a high of Rs 159 on the BSE following a change in the credit rating of the company by rating agency ICRA. The agency has revised long term credit rating on the company's overall borrowings of Rs 204 crore to BBB- from BBB, although, it tweaked the outlook to 'Stable' from 'Negative'.
Shares of Zensar Technologies too extended gains to the third straight day on Friday and climbed nearly 6 per cent after the company announced a strategic partnership with US-based Claimatic. Following this development, the stock of Zensar Technologies jumped 5.70 per cent on the BSE in intra-day trade to touch a high of Rs 290.
Sectorally, investors appeared to be defensive with the Nifty Pharma index ending over 3 per cent higher. The Nifty IT and FMCG indices, meanwhile, settled 0.8 per cent higher each.
Shares of PSU Banks too outperformed at the bourses with Bank of Maharashtra skyrocketing 15 per cent on the National Stock Exchange in the intra-day trade while Indian Overseas Bank surged 12 per cent, and Central Bank of India jumped 10 per cent after a Buisness Standard report said that senior officials of the Niti Aayog, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), and the finance ministry’s financial services and economic affairs departments are set to meet on April 14 to discuss the potential candidates for privatisation. The index closed 2 per cent higher today after ralling 5 per cent in the early morning deals.
On the downside, the Nifty Bank, Private Bank, and Auto indices slipped up to 1 per cent.
In the primary market, the three-day IPO of Macrotech Developers sailed through on the final day and was subscribed 1.34 times till about 4 pm on the last day of the issue.
MSCI’s broadest gauge of world stocks set a record high in Asian trading, though it was down 0.1 per cent by close. In Asia, Japan’s Topix gained 0.6 per cent and Australian stocks hovered near a 13-month high, while South Korea’s Kospi touched the highest intraday level since mid-February.
Chinese shares, however, slid 1.5 per cent, as robust domestic inflation data raised worries over policy tightening.
European stocks, however, were subdued on Friday, but were on course for their longest weekly winning streak since November 2019. The pan-European STOXX 600 index was flat after hitting an all-time high at the open, while the UK’s FTSE 100 and Germany’s DAX slipped 0.4 per cent and 0.2 per cent, respectively.