Domestic equity markets staged a smart recovery in the fag end of the session, lifted mainly by metal and FMCG stocks, to end mixed on Monday even as losses in the banking counters capped gains. Among the headline indices, the BSE barometer S&P BSE Sensex settled the day at 48,716 levels, down 64 points or 0.13 per cent. The index hit a low of 48,028 in the opening deals but rose swiftly through the day to touch a high of 48,863 in the late noon deals.
On the NSE, the Nifty50 index closed at 14,634 levels, up 3 points or 0.02 per cent, after hitting an intra-day high of 14,674.
SBI Life (up over 5 per cent) settled the day as the top Nifty gainer after it posted a net profit of Rs 532.4 crore for the March quarter. The life insurer clocked a net premium income of Rs 15,556 crore as against Rs 11,863 crore in the same quarter last year.
That apart, Bharti Airtel, Adani Ports, Tata Steel, HUL, Asian Paints, and Maruti Suzuki were the other gainers on the 50-share index.
On the downside, Titan (down 4.5 per cent) was leading the list of losers, followed by IndusInd Bank, Axis Bank, Reliance Industries, BPCL, Kotak Mahindra Bank, and State Bank of India (SBI).
Despite weakness in the benchmarks, the overall market strength favoured bulls amid outperformance in the broader markets. The S&P BSE SmallCap index, for instance, ended 1.6 per cent higher, driven by sugar stocks, Tata Steel BSL, Tata Metaliks, and Reliance Infrastructure.
Shares of sugar companies were on a roll at the bourses, on Monday, with Bajaj Hindustan, Dwarikesh Sugar Industries, Dhampur Sugar Mills, Avadh Sugar & Energy, Uttam Sugar Mills and Dalmia Bharat Sugar and Industries rallying between 15 per cent and 20 per cent on healthy outlook.
Domestic sugar prices have increased 7-8 per cent in the last one month mainly due to high summer demand & crushing season getting over reflecting no surprises on the sugar production front.
The S&P BSE MidCap index, on the other hand, settled 0.14 per cent higher.
As regards sectoral indices, the Nifty Metal index rallied 2 per cent today, followed by the Nifty FMCG index, up 1 per cent. On the downside, the Nifty Bank index slipped 0.7 per cent on the NSE.
>> Shares of Reliance Industries ended 2 per cent lower in Monday's session as the oil-to-telecom conglomerate missed Street's estimates when it posted its March quarter results on Friday, leading to profit booking in the stock. Most brokerages, however, remain optimistic on the stock from a long-term perspective. Global brokerage Morgan Stanley has an 'Overweight' stance on the stock while Nomura has a 'Buy' call with a target price of Rs 2,400.
>> YES Bank shares, meanwhile, slipped over 13 per cent to a low of Rs 12.6 in Monday's intra-day session after the private sector lender's standalone net loss widened marginally to Rs 3,788 crore in the March quarter of FY21 as against a net loss of Rs 3,668 crore a year ago. The lender posted a net profit of Rs 148 crore in the December quarter. The scrip, however, partially erased losses and ended 4 per cent lower on the BSE.
>> On the upside, shares of Marico hit a new high of Rs 453, up 10 per cent on the BSE, in the intra-day trade today after the company posted a 25 per cent increase in sales volume aided by a healthy growth in Parachute & value added hair oils segment on the back of a low base quarter. The stock of the personal products company surpassed its previous high of Rs 439 touched on February 24.
Meanwhile, in the primary market, the three day IPO of PowerGrid InviT was subscribed 4.7 times till about 4:00 PM on the last day of the issue.
On the economic front, global brokerage firm Barclays has cut India's FY22 GDP growth estimate to 10 per cent from earlier 11 per cent due to slow pace of vaccinations and uncertainty around the number of those infected and dead in the second Covid-19 wave.
In a more pessimistic scenario of the pandemic, it warned that if mobility restrictions continue till August, the growth can fall to 8.8 per cent.
With China, Japan and Britain closed for public holidays, volumes were thin and Asian shares got off to a slow start on Monday. South Korea's Kospi slipped 0.66 per cent while Australia's S&P/ASX200 index gained 0.04 per cent.
European stocks, meanwhile, drifted higher after strong euro zone factory activity and German retail sales data. Euro zone stocks index that includes markets in continental Europe rose 0.6 per cent, while the German DAX was up 0.8 per cent and France's CAC 40 gained 0.6 per cent.