It was the fourth consecutive session of equity market ending in the red zone with key stock indices ending a volatile session almost flat with a slight negative bias on Wednesday.Investors remained jittery ahead of January series Futures & Options (F&O) contracts expiry tomorrow. Also, street expects US Federal Reserve to further quicken the pace of trimming its $75 billion-a-month bond buying program. Wednesday’s Fed policy meet will be Bernanke’s last at the helm of the US central bank. Janet Yellen is set to take over as the US Federal Reserve chairperson.Fed started cutting its monthly purchases to $75 billion from $85 billion this January which saw turmoil in emerging market currencies and stocks. On Wednesday, the US central bank is expected to shave another $10 billion. the 30-share Sensex ended 36 points down at 20,647 and the 50-unit Nifty ended 6 points lower at 6,120.Broader markets ended mixed with BSE mid-cap index closing with marginal gains while the small-cap index closed in red. Market breadth weakened slightly with 1,262 gainers and 1,021 losers on the BSE.
Infosys, Maruti Suzuki, L&T, BHEL,Axis Bank, Sun Pharma were the top Sensex gainers today. The gains were however capped by the losses in ICICI Bank, RIL, ITC, HDFC, Tata Motors and Sesa Sterlite.
The rupee continued to trade firm against the US dollar tracking gains in stock markets. The Indian currency was trading at Rs 62.35 compared with previous close of Rs 62.52 per dollar. The rupee is seen trading range bound ahead of outcome of FOMC meet.Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) sold shares worth a net Rs 1267.35 crore on Tuesday, as per provisional data.
The BSE Healthcare index was the top gainer among the sectoral indices up 1.6% followed by Auto, Capital Goods indices among others. Metal Index was the sole loser down 0.8%.Pharma shares witnessed buying on the back of robust earnings in the third quarter. Sun Pharma was up nearly 3% contributing the most to the Sensex gains while Dr Reddys Labs and Cipla were up 1-2% each.Maruti Suzuki continued to remain as the top Sensex gainer after the stock rebounded today and was up 7.5% amid short covering. The stock had witnessed a sharp fall on Tuesday after its board’s decision to accept Suzuki Motor Corp’s (SMC) proposal to contract manufacture vehicles from the proposed manufacturing facility in Gujarat.Index heavyweight Reliance Industries came off its day’s highs and was trading 0.2% down at Rs 844.Metal shares witnessed profit taking after recent gains. Tata Steel, Sesa Sterlite and Hindalco were down 1-2% each.The broader markets also came off their day’s highs with BSE Mid-cap and Small-cap indices were up 0.4% each.
Asian markets edged higher on Wednesday amid a monetary tightening measures by the Turkish central bank which surprisingly hiked the overnight lending rate by 425 basis points to 12%. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei was the top gainer in the region and ended up 2.7%, Shanghai Composite gained 0.6%, Hang Seng was up 1.1% while Straits Times was down 0.7%.