Mumbai: Key Indian equity indices on Wednesday closed on a lower note — amid volatility infused by March futures and options (F&O) expiry — as negative global markets, along with heavy selling pressure in metals, banking and healthcare stocks, hampered investors’ risk-taking appetite.
On a closing basis, the Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) fell by 70.45 points or 0.69 per cent to 10,113.70 points.
The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE closed at 32,968.68 points — down 205.71 points or 0.62 per cent from the previous session’s close.
The BSE market breadth was bearish with 1,758 declines and 895 advances.
In terms of the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap index fell by 0.53 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.92 per cent.
“Markets ended lower on Wednesday after two sessions of gains and ahead of a long weekend. The losses came on the back of negative Asian and European equity markets,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.
“It was also the derivative expiry day of the March series as also the last trading day of the month, quarter and fiscal year,” he added.
On the currency front, the Indian rupee weakened by 20 paise to close at 65.18 against the US dollar from its previous close at 64.98.
In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth Rs 1,190.55 crore, while the domestic institutional investors purchased stocks worth Rs 1,960.67 crore.
Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said: “Market slid on the expiry day due to volatility in global market and last leg of redemption ahead of introduction of LTCG (long term capital gains) tax.”
“We expect domestic volatility to normalise as declining yield and inflation may provide room for the Reserve Bank of India to extend their neutral stance, against rate hike expectation. Result season will be next major trigger as earnings growth remain in the initial stage of recovery while investors are focused on the possibility of further upgrade,” he added.
Almost all sectoral indices of the BSE ended with losses, barring the S&P BSE consumer durables index, which rose by 52.46 points, and the oil and gas index, up 9.19 points.
The S&P BSE metal index plunged by 276.75 points, followed by banking index by 176.92 points and healthcare index by 151.15 points.
Major Sensex gainers on Wednesday were: Wipro, up 3.27 per cent at Rs 281.45; Coal India, up 2.94 per cent at Rs 283.50; Hero MotoCorp, up 2.30 per cent at Rs 3,545.50; Yes Bank, up 0.49 per cent at Rs 304.90; and IndusInd Bank, up 0.43 per cent at Rs 1,795.60.
The Sensex losers were: Tata Steel, down 3.25 per cent at Rs 570.90; Bharti Airtel, down 3.05 per cent at Rs 398.90; Adani Ports, down 2.93 per cent at Rs 354.65; Sun Pharma, down 1.95 per cent at Rs 495.40; and ICICI Bank, down 1.94 per cent at Rs 278.40.