Snapping five sessions' gaining streak, Indian benchmark indices closed marginally lower in choppy trade on Friday as sell-off in auto, pharma, bank, FMCG indices offset buying in IT, capital goods, and realty sectors. The weak cues from global peers and continued rise in Covid-19 cases across the country also weighed on market sentiments.
The BSE Sensex closed 12 points, or 0.02%, lower at 61,223, while the NSE Nifty slipped 2 points, or 0.01%, to settle at 18,255. Earlier today, Sensex opened lower, following negative cues from Asian peers, to hit a low of 60,757 in early deals. However, the 30-share barometer staged a smart-recovery and bounced 567 points in intraday trade to hit a high of 61,324.
Outperforming the benchmark indices, the broader markets ended higher. The S&P BSE Midcap index rose 0.22%, while the S&P BSE Smallcap index surged 0.5%.
The overall market breadth on the BSE was positive, with 2,189 shares advancing out of total 3,776 traded stocks. Out of the total shares, 1,459 shares declined and 128 were unchanged.
On the sectoral front, capital goods and realty indices were among top performers whereas FMCG and pharma sectors declined the most. The BSE FMCG index emerged as the top loser by falling 0.6%, led by Goodricke Group, Future Consumer, Hindustan Unilever Ltd., Godfrey Phillips India, and Nestle India.
The FMCG sector was followed by the BSE healthcare index, which closed 0.5% lower. The top losers in the healthcare space were Suven Life Sciences, Biocon, Aurobindo Pharma, Lasa Supergenerics, and Kopran.
Top gainers and losers
The top gainer on the BSE Sensex pack was Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), which ended 1.84% higher. Some of the other top performers include Infosys, Larsen & Toubro, Tech Mahindra, and HDFC Bank.
On the losing side, paint company Asian Paints topped the chart by falling 2.66%. The other top laggards include Axis Bank, Hindustan Unilever Ltd., Mahindra & Mahindra, and Wipro.
Tata Metaliks: Shares of Tata Metaliks ended 4.1% lower as investors gave thumbs down to its December quarter earnings. The Tata Group company had posted an over 50% decline in its December quarter net profit at ₹35.88 crore due to a rise in total cost, compared to ₹75.18 crore a year ago. However, revenue rose 31% to ₹689.80 crore, while total cost spiked 53.28% to ₹642.83 crore.
Titan Company: Shares of Tata Group firm closed 1% lower amid report that ace investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala hiked shareholding in luxury brand company to 5.09% at the end of quarter ended December 2021.
Reliance Industries: Shares of Mukesh Ambani-led oil-to-telecom conglomerate settled a tad higher after the company said it will invest over ₹5.95 lakh crore in green energy and other projects in Gujarat. The company will invest ₹5 lakh crore in the state over the span of 10 to 15 years to help it achieve net zero emissions and become carbon free, and another ₹60,000 crore to manufacture solar PV cells and other renewable energy equipment.
Mindtree: Shares of the technology services company tumbled 4% even after reporting robust earnings during the December quarter of 2021. The company, a part of the Larsen & Toubro Group, had posted a profit of ₹437.5 crore in December 2021 quarter against ₹398.9 crore in September 2021 quarter. The revenue rose to ₹2,750 crore from ₹2,586.2 crore in the previous quarter.
Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail: Shares of the Aditya Birla group company ended 0.4% lower after the company entered into a strategic partnership with brand Masaba through acquisition of 51% stake in the entity viz. 'House of Masaba Lifestyle Private Limited'.
Aurobindo Pharma: Shares of the drugmaker fell 3% after it received a warning letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) for its Unit I, an active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing facility in Hyderabad.
HDFC Bank: The share price of the private sector lender closed 1% higher ahead of its December quarter earnings reports slated to be released on January 15. In the last quarter, the bank had reported a 17.6% year-on-year rise in net profit at ₹8,834.30 crore for September quarter compared with ₹7,513.11 crore in the year-ago quarter.
State Bank of India (SBI): Shares of the country’s largest lender dropped 0.7% after it raised $300 million from Regulation S Formosa bonds, securities issued in Taiwan, at a coupon rate of 2.49%.
Global markets retreat on U.S. rate hike concerns, Omicron woes
Overseas, shares in the Asia-Pacific region as well as European stocks, witnessed bearish trade on Friday, following a negative finish at Wall Street overnight. Investors remained concerned about the spike in Covid-19 across the region and its likely economic impact. Asian markets ended mixed on Thursday. Adding to it, looming fear that the Federal Reserve would be hiking interest rates this year also weighed on the market sentiment.
In the Asia-Pacific region, South Korea's KOSPI emerged as the top loser by falling 1.36%. It was followed by Japan’s Nikkei 225 index which ended 1.28% lower, reversing some of the early losses.
In a similar trend, Australia’s ASX 200 index plunged 1.08%, while China’s Shanghai Composite closed 0.96% lower. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong and Taiwan Weighted Index dropped 0.2% each, while Thailand’s SET Composite also ended 0.44% lower.
Bucking the trend, the Straits Times Index in Singapore ended 0.76% higher, followed by Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite, which surged 0.53%.
Meanwhile, European stocks also opened lower, extending losses for the second session, tracking weak cues from Wall Street. Germany’s DAX dropped 0.65%, France’s CAC shed 0.69%, and the UK’s FTSE 100 index fell 0.1% in early trade. Spain’s IBEX index and Italy’s FTSE MIB index tumbled 0.5% and 0.8%, respectively, in opening trade.
In overnight trade, all three major U.S. indices closed lower, snapping two sessions gaining streak. Investors turned jittery after Fed governor Lael Brainard cautioned that "inflation is too high" and that controlling inflation is the "most important task" for the central bank. Reacting to the news, the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite nosedived 2.5% amid renewed sell-off in growth-driven technology stocks. The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.5% lower, while the broader S&P 500 fell 1.4%.