Benchmark equity indices ended lower for the sixth consecutive session, marking their longest losing streak in recent months, as investors remained unimpressed by the Economic Survey 2020-21 and profit booking continued ahead of the Union Budget on Monday.
The losses were also aided by likely selling by foreign portfolio investors, who in recent sessions turned net sellers in some emerging markets on concerns over delay in Covid-19 vaccine rollout and passage of another US fiscal stimulus bill.
The Nifty50 index ended 183 points or 1.3 per cent lower at 13,634.60, while the BSE Sensex closed at 46,285.77, down 588.6 points or 1.3 per cent.
In the broader market, the sell-off again was less intense than the bluechip stocks as the Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 ended 0.4 per cent and 0.6 per cent lower, respectively.
Here are the major movers in today’s trade:
Dr Reddy’s tanks post earnings
Investors were left with a sour taste following Dr Reddy’s Laboratories’ earnings for the quarter ended December, which came in sharply below analysts’ estimates. The company’s stock fell 5.5 per cent.
Suzlon Energy enjoys the pump
Shares of Suzlon Energy jumped 5 per cent likely led by buying from retail investors and members of a Reddit group called ‘IndianStreetBets’, who hope to replicate the success of their US brethren ‘WallStreetBets’.
Shriram Transport gains on improving outlook
Shares of the automobile finance company rose 16 per cent as investors were optimistic about the company’s prospects given the improving demand for automobiles and likely recovery in the commercial vehicles market.
Tata Steel sinks as SSAB leaves
Shares of India’s largest steel manufacturer fell nearly 4 per cent after SSAB said that it has pulled out of talks to buy the former’s operations in Europe. “We cannot align Tata Steel Ijmuiden with our sustainability strategy in the way desired,” the company’s CEO said in a statement.
What’s ahead for the market?
Traders aggressively bought the out-of-money put options of the Nifty50 index expiring on Thursday suggesting that investor sentiment is bearish heading into Monday’s Union Budget announcement and the RBI monetary policy next week.
“We could slide further to 13,400 and thereafter to 13,200. The fall has been backed by very high volumes, especially in the last hour of trade. Any rally can now be utilised to short the Nifty for lower targets. The resistance is now at 14,000 and until that is not crossed, we will remain in the grip of the bears,” said Manish Hathiramani, technical analyst at Deen Dayal Investments.
Credit: Stocks-Markets-Economic Times