Domestic equity markets ended a tumultuous week on a flat note amid subdued trade in Asia and a bleak UK economic data. The Office for National Statistics said on Friday that the UK's gross domestic product shrank 9.9 per cent in 2020, its biggest decline on record.
Furthermore, less-than-expected fall in the US weekly jobless claims too caused investors to show restraint. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.05 per cent, Australian stocks lost 0.63 per cent, and shares in Tokyo fell 0.2 per cent.
In Europe, the pan-European STOXX 600 index dipped 0.1 per cent, while the blue-chip FTSE 100 index fell 0.2 per cent.
Back home, indices turned sharply lower in the fag-end of the session but recovered quickly to end on little unchanged. The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex tumbled 543 points from the day's high to hit an intra-day low of 51,261. At close, the index was at 51,544 levels, up 13 points or 0.02 per cent. The NSE's Nifty50, meanwhile, ended at 15,163 level, down 10 points or 0.07 per cent.
ICICI Bank, Infosys, HDFC, and Axis Bank were the top gainers on the Sensex index while Adani Ports, ICICI Bank, Infosys, and Wipro were the top performing stocks on the Nifty. ITC, Sun Pharma, ONGC, and Bharti Airtel were the top drags on both the indices.
Broader markets, too, ended mixed today. The S&P BSE MidCap index was up 0.06 per cent at close while the S&P BSE SmallCap index settled 0.02 per cent lower.
On the sectoral front, the Nifty Metal index skid 1.7 per cent, followed by the Nifty FMCG index that declined 1.5 per cent. At the other end of the spectrum, Nifty Private Bank and the Nifty Bank indices gained 1 per cent each.
Today's volatile trade, however, saw some stocks exhibiting strong moves in either direction.
Among these is housing financier HDFC who entered the elite club of Rs 5-trillion market-capitalisation mark, after its shares surged to a record high of Rs 2,808 apiece on the BSE. The stock settled over 1 per cent higher at Rs 2,790 apiece with a m-cap of Rs 5.02 trillion. HDFC Ltd is the sixth Indian company to have achieved this milestone, after Reliance Industries, Tata Consultancy Services, HDFC Bank, Hindustan Unilever, and Infosys.
Moreover, Adani Enterprises today entered the list of the top-50 most valuable companies in India after the company's stock price rallied 9 per cent to Rs 719, also its new high, on the BSE in intra-day trade.
Shares of SBI Cards and Payment Services, on Friday, hit a new high of Rs 1,048.65 after rising 2 per cent intra-day on the BSE, thus surpassing its previous high of Rs 1,040, recorded on January 22, 2021. Thus far in the calendar year 2021, SBI Cards has outperformed the market by surging 23 per cent, as compared to 8.5 per cent rise in the S&P BSE Sensex. A sharp rally in the share price has seen the market capitalisation of SBI Card inch towards Rs 1-trillion mark.
That apart, shares of aviation firms InterGlobe Aviation and SpiceJet took off at the bourses on Friday, cheering the government's decision to raise air fare price band by up to 30 per cent. In the intra-day trade, IndiGo shares jumped up to 4.7 per cent on the BSE while those of SpiceJet soared 7 per cent. At close, IndiGo stock up 0.8 per cent at Rs 1,641 apiece, while SpiceJet ended 3 per cent higher at Rs 91 per share.
On the downside, shares of ITC skid 4.4 per cent to Rs 216 on the BSE in the intra-day trade as investors booked profit in the counter following the firm's December quarter numbers. The company, which reported an 11% YoY drop in net profit, declared an interim dividend of Rs 5 per share. The stock closed 4 per cent down today at Rs 217.
Grasim on Friday reported a 95% YoY growth in net profit at Rs 359.4 crore in the December quarter of FY21, as against a profit of Rs 185 crore. It's revenue slipped 5% on year but earnings margin increased 770 bps YoY to 17.6%.
Hindustan Aeronautics, on the other hand, recorded an 85% jump in net profit at Rs 853.5 crore in Q3FY21, along with a 22% YoY rise in revenue at Rs 5,425.5 crore.