Brisk-buying in the last hour of trade helped domestic equity markets end flat on Wednesday amid losses in financial and select IT stocks. The frontline S&P BSE Sensex and the Nifty50 indices breached below their psychological levels of 51,000 and 15,000 to hit an intra-day low of 50,846 and 14,977, respectively.
Recovering from the day's low, the Sensex index settled at 51,309 levels on the BSE, down 20 points or 0.04 per cent. Bharti Airtel (down 1.5 per cent), Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, ONGC, PowerGrid, and L&T were the top laggards on the index. Weightage-wise, HDFC Bank, Infosys, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, and L&T accounted for the maximum losses on the index.
That said, gains in Bajaj Finserv, M&M, Bajaj Finance, Titan, TCS, and Reliance Industries, all up between 1.2 per cent and 3 per cent, trimmed losses.
NSE's Nifty50, on the other hand, closed 3 points, or 0.02 per cent, lower at 15,106 levels with 22 of the 50 constituents ending the day in the red.
The broader markets, however, bucked the trend and ended higher today. The S&P BSE MidCap and SmallCap indices added 0.7 per cent and 0.4 per cent, respectively at close.
Among individual stocks, shares of Page Industries hit a fresh 52-week high of Rs 32,372, as the stock rallied 7 per cent on the BSE in today's session, following a strong performance by the company in the December quarter. The company reported a 77 per cent year-on-year growth in net profit of Rs 153.7 crore while the revenue improved 17 per cent YoY to Rs 927 crore. The stock settled 5 per cent higher on the BSE.
On the downside, Tata Steel's partly paid shares were locked in the 15 per cent lower circuit band at Rs 226 after the company's board approved making of the first and final call of Rs 461 per partly paid-up equity share, on 77.6 million outstanding partly paid-up equity shares of face value Rs 10 each, issued by the Company on a rights basis.
Meanwhile, Eicher Motors ended 1.6 per cent lower as the company's profit missed Street estimates in Q3. It reported a net profit of Rs 534 crore compared with Street expectations of Rs 550 crore. Also, Ebitda margins contracted 130 bps YoY to 23.7 per cent.
On the earnings front, Titan Company today reported a 11 per cent YoY decline in net profit at Rs 419 crore. It's revenue, meanwhile, increased 17.4 per cent on year to Rs 7,287 crore.
That apart, SpiceJet's consolidated net loss narrowed to Rs 66.75 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2020. The company had reported a net loss of Rs 105 crore in the September quarter of FY21 and a profit of Rs 78 crore in Q3FY20.
World shares rose to new all-time highs and European indexes strengthened, with market sentiment generally upbeat. In Europe, the STOXX 600 index rose 0.3 per cent, while German’s DAX rose 0.1 per cent.
Earlier in Asia, Japan's Nikkei added 0.2 per cent, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.2 per cent, and South Korea's Kospi advanced 0.5 per cent.