The domestic benchmarks ended higher in choppy trade on Monday, led by spurt in buying in the final hours of trading. The market sentiment was also lifted by ease in crude prices amid hopes of progress in Russian-Ukrainian peace talks to be held in Turkey this week. However, mixed cues from Asian peers amid lockdown in China limited market’s gain.

Earlier today, the BSE Sensex opened lower and declined as much as 537 points to hit an intraday low of 56,825 points during the session. Finally, the 30-share index settled at 57,593, up 231 points or 0.4%. Similarly, the NSE Nifty rebounded from a low of 17,004 to close at 17,222, up 69 points or 0.4 %.

Bucking the trend, the broader markets ended lower, with the BSE midcap and smallcap indices falling 0.4% and 0.5%, respectively.

The overall market breadth on the BSE was negative, with 2,450 shares declining out of a total of 3,932 traded stocks. As many as 1,293 shares advanced and 189 were unchanged.

"The current volatility is due to elevated commodity prices and resultant downgrade of future earnings growth. The prices of products have been increasing constantly and are expected to increase further in the future, affecting demand and margin. Uncertainties due to rising Covid cases especially in China also added to the weakness,” says Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services.

“While Indian equities showed resilience and bounced back in green following a positive European market. We can expect an ease in this volatility based the cessation of the war, commodity prices and supply constraints," Nair added.

Top gainers and losers

Out of the top 30 stocks on the BSE Sensex pack, 20 closed in green while the remaining settled in the red zone. Telecom major Bharti Airtel was the best performer was a 3.4% gain, followed by private lender Axis Bank, which ended 2.13% higher.

The other notable gainers include ICICI Bank, ITC, State Bank of India, Reliance Industries, and Power Grid, which closed with more than 1% gain each.

On the losing side, FMCG major Nestle India topped the chart with a 1.8% loss. Among others, Housing Development Finance Corporation, HCL Technologies, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Asian Paints, Wipro, L&T, Tech Mahindra settled with marginal losses.

Among individual stocks, PVR and INOX Leisure, the country’s leading multiplex chains, rallied up to 20% in intraday trade following a mega merger announcement. In a surprising deal announced late on Sunday, PVR and INOX Leisure proposed a merger of their businesses to create the largest film exhibition company in India.

Meanwhile, Reliance Infrastructure and Reliance Power declined up to 8.7% after Anil Ambani stepped down from the boards of directors of the companies, following the SEBI’s order restraining him from trading in securities or being associated with any listed companies. Adding to the woes, the debt-laden companies also face insolvency proceedings as they failed to pay their lenders.

Energy, bank space lead gain

Among sectors, oil and gas and bank indices were the biggest gainers, while consumer durables and healthcare space declined the most.

The BSE oil and gas index closed 1.07% higher, led by Adani Total Gas, GAIL (India), Indian Oil Corporation, Reliance Industries, and Oil And Natural Gas Corporation. The rally in oil and gas space was driven by continued hike in petrol and diesel prices by the oil market companies coupled with ease in price of international Brent crude.

Petrol and diesel prices have been hiked by ₹4-4.10 per litre in the last one week. Meanwhile, the U.S. WTI crude futures were down 4.6% to $108.6 a barrel, while the Brent oil futures dropped 4.12% to $112.56 per barrel.

Meanwhile, the BSE Bankex index ended 1.01% higher, supported by gains in heavyweights such as State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, and IndusInd Bank.

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