· Sensex stages smart recovery to end just 12 points down, Nifty holds 18,250
· Mindtree dips 4% on profit booking after December quarter results
· Aurobindo Pharma ends 5% down on US FDA warning letter for unit
· India Cements gains 4%; hits highest level since January 2008
· Budget session of Parliament to begin on Jan 31
Benchmark indices staged a smart recovery in the second half of Friday’s session to end the day around the flat line. The markets, however, ended their five-day rally and closed in the red amid muted global sentiment.
The BSE Sensex opened gap-down but managed to recoup losses by close of the day amid reports of an easing in wholesale inflation in December and strong exports during the month. The index fell 478 points to hit the day’s low before recovering to close 12 points lower at 61,223. Its NSE counterpart Nifty50 was 2 points down at 18,256. It touched an intra-day low of 18,120.
The recovery in the indices came on the back of gains in IT stocks – Infosys and TCS, which were up 1.8 per cent and 1.6 per cent, respectively. HDFC Bank, L&T, and Tech Mahindra were the other notable gainers.
On the flip side, the stocks that largely weighed on the indices today included private lender HDFC, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, HUL, Asian Paints, Bharti Airtel, Wipro, and M&M.
The broader markets, however, outperformed the benchmarks. The BSE MidCap and SmallCap indices ended 0.2 and 0.5 per cent higher, respectively.
Sectorally, barring IT, Realty and consumer durables, all Nifty indices ended in the negative territory, led by losses in FMCG, Pharma, Auto and Banks. The Nifty Realty index closed 1.15 per cent up, while IT and consumer durables logged gains of 0.6 and 0.2 per cent.
Among stocks, shares of Mindtree were in the limelight and closed 4 per cent lower on the BSE due to profit booking on high valuations after the company reported a strong set of October-December quarter numbers both on revenue and margin fronts. Despite today’s fall, the stock has outperformed the market by surging 68 per cent in the past six months, compared with a 15% rise for the Sensex.
That apart, the shares of Aurobindo Pharma ended 3 per cent lower after the company said it received a warning letter from the US Food and Drug Administration for its Unit I, an active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing facility in Hyderabad.
The shares of cement companies put up a strong show today. India Cements, for instance, rallied to touch its highest level in 14 years and closed 4 per cent higher today.
On Monday, the stock of Ultratech Cement will be in focus as the cement major will announce its December quarter earnings. HDFC Bank will also be watched as the banking major will announce its results on Saturday.
Lastly, the Budget session of Parliament is set to commence on January 31 and conclude on April 8. The House will be in session from January 31 to February 11 and then reassemble on March 14 to sit until April 8. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will present the Budget for 2022-23 on February 1.