Frontline indices snapped their 2-day losing streak and ended higher in a lacklustre trade on Thursday amid stock-specific bets by investors. Volatility index, India VIX, eased around 4 per cent to end at 23 levels.
Propelled by over 4 per cent gain in Reliance Industries, and over 1 per cent gain each in HUL, Bajaj Finance, and Bharti Airtel, the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex advanced 222 points, or 0.43 per cent, to settle at 51,531.5 level on the BSE. RIL, Sun Pharma, Bajaj Finance, Nestle India, and Power Grid ended the day as the top gainers on the Sensex while Titan (down 2.45 per cent), L&T, HDFC Bank, ITC, and ONGC were the top laggards.
Around 18 of the 30 constituents ended the day in the green on the Sensex. Overall, 1,725 stocks advanced on the BSE, 1,261 declined, and 140 remained unchanged.
NSE's Nifty50, on the other hand, ended the day at 15,173-mark, up 67 points or 0.44 per cent.
In the broader markets, smallcap stocks led from the front. The S&P BSE SmallCap index outperformed today with 1.06 per cent gain on the BSE while the S&P BSE MidCap index settled 0.45 per cent higher
Among individual stocks, shares of Titan Company slipped 3 per cent in the intra-day trade today, but ended 2.5 per cent lower on the BSE, as investors were concerned about the pressure on margins and weak performance in the watches and eyewear segments.
Bata India shares, meanwhile, erased its losses partially to end 2.5 per cent lower. In the intra-day trade, the shares skid 7 per cent to Rs 1,462 on weak earnings show in the December quarter. With today's fall, the stock is down 21 per cent from its 52-week high level of Rs 1,839 touched on February 12, 2020.
On the upside, shares of Route Mobile were locked in a 20 per cent upper circuit at Rs 1,527 on the back of heavy volumes. The trading volumes on counter jumped over four-fold with a combined 3.26 million equity shares changing hands.
Additionally, shares of Magma Fincorp were locked in upper circuit of 10 per cent at Rs 93.40 on the BSE after the company announced that Adar Poonawalla-controlled Rising Sun Holdings will acquire a 60 per cent stake in the NBFC by subscribing to Rs 3,456-crore preferential issue.
In a post-market hour development, market regulator said that Sun Pharmaceutical has settled its whistleblower case with Sebi. Sebi said Dilip Shanghvi has paid Rs 62.35 lakhs towards settlement charges in the case that alleged Fund Diversion through Aditya Medisales. Meanwhile, Sudhir Valia has paid Rs 37.41 lakhs as part of his settlement charges. The stock ended 2.6 per cent higher today.
On the sectoral front, Nifty PSU Bank index declined over 1 per cent on the NSE, followed by losses in the Nifty Auto index (down 0.4 per cent), and the Nifty Realty index (down 0.24 per cent). On the upside, the Nifty FMCG index and the Nifty Metal index closed 0.85 per cent higher each.
Among the firms that declared Q3 results today during market hours included the likes of ACC, Coal India, and MRF.
Cement maker ACC today reported a 73% YoY growth in net profit at Rs 472 crore for the December quarter, along with a 2% YoY increase in revenue at Rs 4,145 crore.
Coal India's Q3 profit dropped around 21 per cent on year to Rs 3,084 crore, while its revenue increased 2% YoY to Rs 23,686 crore.
Lastly, MRF clocked a profit of Rs 520.5 crore in Q3 compared with a profit of Rs 241 crore last year. Its revenue grew 14% YoY to Rs 4,642 crore and margins improved by 570 bps to 21 per cent.
In the primary market, RailTel Corporation of India, today, fixed a price band of Rs 93-94 a share for its initial share-sale, which will open for public subscription on February 16. At the upper end of the price band, the government would raise a little over Rs 819 crore.
Asian shares rested at record highs on Thursday as investors digested recent meaty gains, while bulls were sustained by the promise of endless free money after a benign reading on U.S. inflation and a dovish Federal Reserve outlook.
Adding to the torpor was a lack of liquidity as markets in China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan were all on holiday.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.1 per cent. Japan's Nikkei was shut after ending at a 30-year peak on Wednesday, while Australia's main index held near an 11-month top.