Profit booking, global cues subdue equity indices; metal stocks down

Mumbai: Profit bookings along with negative global cues subdued India’s equity indices — S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty50 — on Friday.

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Resultantly, the two indices closed on a flat note after five sessions of gains.

The Sensex and Nifty settled at 61,223.03 and 18,255.75 points, down 12.27 points and 2.05 points from their previous close, respectively.

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Initially, both the indices had a gap down opening and fell early in the morning hours.

However, ease in wholesale inflation, as well as robust exports figures, aided the indices to pare some of their losses.

Stock markets in Asia yielded to the panic of an imminent interest rate hike scenario in the US, recording major losses on Friday.

Similarly, European stocks dropped in early trading on Friday after more US Fed policymakers signalled that they will start to raise US interest rates in March to combat inflation.

On the domestic front, volumes were in line with recent averages.

Among sectors, realty, capital goods and IT indices rose the most whereas metals, telecom, FMCG and healthcare indices lost the most.

“Nifty closed flat after five days of gains, recovering smartly from the lows,” said Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities.

“Nifty opened lower and fell early in the morning. After making a higher low at 11.30 am, Nifty inched up through the day to close almost flat,” he added.

“Nifty rose for the fourth consecutive week, rising 2.49 per cent in the longest winning streak since the week ended September 24, 2021. Nifty is now close to the 18,500-18,600 resistance band,” he said.

According to Siddhartha Khemka, Head of Retail Research, Motilal Oswal Financial Services: “Global markets continued to witness sell off with hawkish comments from a slew of US Fed officials indicating faster interest rate hikes to combat inflation.

“Record high inflation in the US is dampening the sentiments in an otherwise positive macro data environment.”

Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, said: “The Indian market opened on a weak note following nervousness in global markets. However, it managed to erase most of its losses to close flat, supported by positive trends in IT, realty and healthcare sectors.

“US Fed officials’ latest comments on a likely rate hike in March triggered selling in global equities. Globally, inflation worries worsened after the US reported a 40-year high CPI inflation reading while a slower rise in producer prices provided some relief.”

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