The benchmark indices witnessed highly volatile trade on Friday, with the BSE Sensex falling as much as 884 points from day’s high to close a tad lower. The caution prevailed in the market ahead of the highly-anticipated Union Budget and a slew of macro data due next week. Adding to it, mixed earnings and subdued global cues also weighed on investors’ sentiments.

The BSE Sensex opened higher and gained as much as 807 points, or 1.4%, to hit an intraday high of 58,084 points. In a similar trend, the NSE Nifty also witnessed the gap-up opening and climbed 263 points, or 1.5%, to touch a day’s high of 17,373.

However, the equity market witnessed hefty selling in the last hour of trade and slipped into negative terrain, following weak cues from European markets. The Sensex closed 77 points, or 0.13%, lower at 57,200, and the NSE Nifty fell 8 points, or 0.05%, to end lower at 17,101.

Outperforming the benchmark indices, the broader markets settled higher. The S&P BSE Midcap index and the S&P BSE Smallcap index gained more than 1% each.

The overall market breadth on the BSE was positive, with 2,115 shares advancing out of total 3,740 traded stocks. Out of the total shares, 1,486 shares declined and 139 were unchanged.

On the sectoral front, healthcare and IT indices were among top performers, while bank and auto witnessed maximum selling.

Top gainers and losers

Maruti Suzuki India, the country’s largest carmaker, emerged as the biggest loser on the BSE Sensex pack by falling 3%. Some of the other notable losers include Tech Mahindra, Power Grid Corporation of India, ICICI Bank, and Axis Bank, which dropped in the range of 1% to 2.4%.

On the flip side, state-owned power utility company NTPC topped the gainers' chart by rising 3.9%. The other top performers include Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, IndusInd Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra and Wipro, which gained up to 1.85%.

Shares in news

Bharti Airtel: Shares of telecom major rose 1.4% after Alphabet-owned Google proposed to invest up to $1 billion in the company. The deal, part of Google for India Digitization Fund, includes an equity investment of $700 million to acquire 1.28% stake in Airtel at ₹734 apiece and up to $300 million toward potential commercial agreements over the course of the next five years. The development came a year after the tech giant paid ₹33,737 crore to acquire a 7.73% stake in Reliance Industries-owned Jio Platforms, India’s biggest telecom operator and a rival of Airtel.

Larsen & Toubro (L&T): Shares of engineering and construction major dropped 0.68% ahead of its third quarter earnings numbers. The company in an exchange filing said that its wholly-owned arm has secured a contract from ONGC for the development phase of their pipeline replacement projects.

Dr Reddy's Laboratories: The share price of the pharma company dropped 0.7% even after it reported a multi-fold rise in consolidated net profit at ₹706.5 crore for the third quarter ended December 31, 2021.

HCL Technology: Shares of the IT major ended 0.3% higher after it opened an innovation centre focused on engineering and R&D services in Edmonton, Alberta. The centre will house an engineering and co-innovation lab, which will enable high tech and software clients, including Fortune 100 leaders, to not only envision their products, but also to see rapid product prototyping, collaborative research and continuous learning to create faster time to market, it said in an exchange filing.

Kotak Mahindra Bank: Shares of private sector lender ended higher after it posted a 31% year-on-year (YoY) rise in consolidated net profit at ₹3,403 crore in Q3FY22. Its net profit stood at ₹2,602 crore in the year-ago quarter.

Central Bank of India: The share price of public sector lender dropped 0.46% after it reported a 69% jump in net profit at ₹279 crore for the quarter ended December 2021. The bank had posted a net profit of ₹165 crore in the same quarter a year ago. Total income of the bank rose to ₹6,666.45 crore in Q3FY22, as against ₹6,556.98 crore in the same period of the previous year.

Asian stocks mixed as investors digest U.S. GDP data

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region ended on a mixed note as investors digested the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) data, which showed the world’s largest economy grew by 6.9% in the final three months of 2021. Annually, the US economy rose 5.7%, which was the fastest pace in the last four decades.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 ended 2.1% higher, while South Korea’s KOSPI surged 1.87%. Australia’s ASX 200 index was the biggest gainer in the regional market by rising 2.19%.

In a similar trend, Thailand’s SET Composite climbed 0.33%, and Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite gained 0.5%.

Meanwhile, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong closed 1% lower, while the Straits Times Index in Singapore dropped 0.4%, reversing opening gains.

In mainland China, the Shenzhen component and the Shanghai composite declined 0.5% and 1%, respectively.

European markets drop in early trade

European stocks traded mostly lower in early trade as negative finish at Wall Street overnight weighed on investors’ sentiment. Germany’s DAX nosedived 1.75% in early deals, while France’s CAC index dropped 1.5%. The U.K.’s FTSE 100 index also dropped 1.2%, while Spain’s IBEX index plummeted 1.35% in early deals.

In the overnight trade, volatility continued at Wall Street following the release of strong GDP data which further fuelled fear about the sooner-than-expected rise in interest rates. Paring early gains, the benchmark S&P 500 dropped 0.5%, the blue-chip Dow Jones index slipped 0.02%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite settled 1.4% lower.

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