July 24, 2024

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Market Wrap, March 16: Here’s all that happened in the markets today

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Indices extended their decline into the third day on Tuesday as investors fretted over rising cases of Covid-19 cases in the country and amid new localised restrictions. Bulls put brakes on their march after Gujarat decided to impose night curfew in Surat, Rajkot, Ahmedabad, and Vadodara for the next fortnight owing to rising cases of Covid-19. On Monday, Maharashtra too announced that hotels, restaurants, cinemas, and multiplexes shall be permitted to operate at only 50 per cent capacity, shopping malls will implement stringent Covid protocols, and all social, religious, political and cultural gatherings have been banned to stem the spread of infection.

Given this, the benchmark S&P BSE Sensex tumbled nearly 500 points from day’s high and ended 31 points, or 0.06 per cent, lower at 50,364 levels. On the NSE, the Nifty50 closed at 14,910 levels, down 19 points or 0.13 per cent.

The number of gainers and losers on both Sensex and Nifty were nearly equal with 14 of the 30 constituents on the Sensex and 20 of the 50 on the Nifty ending the day in the green. Asian Paints, Dr Reddy’s Labs, HUL, HCL Tech, ITC, Bharti Airtel, and UltraTech Cement were the top index gainers today while Cipla, Tata Steel, ICICI Bank, SBI, BPCL, Shreeram Cement, Axis and Divis Labs ended the day in the red.

Broader markets, meanwhile, remained better placed. The S&P BSE MidCap and SmallCap indices each ended around 0.4 per cent higher. MphasiS, Hindustan Aeronautics, Adani Power, Shriram Transport Finance, and AU Small Finance Bank from the midcap index, and Intellect Design Arena, Ashiana Housing, Astron Paper Board Mills, and Zensar Technologies from the smallcap index ended as the top performing stocks.

Individually, shares of Intellect Design Arena hit a new high of Rs 626, surging 20 per cent on the BSE, in the intra-day trade on Tuesday after the trading volumes jumped nearly nine-fold. The shares ended 17 per cent higher at Rs 610 on the BSE.

That apart, shares of Adani Green Energy hit a new high of Rs 1,245, up 4 per cent on the BSE, in the intra-day trade today and surpassed its previous high of Rs 1,220, touched on November 24, 2020. With today’s gain, the stock has zoomed 1,004 per cent from its 52-week low level of Rs 112.70, hit on March 17, 2020.

Furthermore, Gland Pharma zoomed 9.5 per cent in the intra-day trade today and hit a high of Rs 2,784 per share after the firm entered into an agreement to supply up to 252 million doses of Sputnik V, Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine.

On the downside, shares of Tata Communications, earlier state-owned VSNL, declined 7 per cent to Rs 1,202 on the BSE in the intra-day trade on Tuesday as offer for sale (OFS) to divest the government holding in the company opened today for institutional investors. The government will sell its 10 per cent stake, with an option to sell an additional 6.12 per cent stake in Tata Communications. The stock ended 6.5 per cent lower at Rs 1,213.

Among key sectoral indices, the Nifty Bank, Private Bank, PSU Bank, and Metal indices skid up to 1.3 per cent on the NSE. On the upside, the Nifty IT and FMCG indices closed 1 per cent higher each.

In the IT pack, Infosys, Mindtree, L&T Technology Services, Sonata Software, Coforge and Intellect Design Arena hit their respective record highs in the intra-day trade on expectation of strong earnings.

The S&P BSE IT index hit an intra-day high of 26,784 points, and is 1 per cent away from its record high of Rs 27,074 on January 14, 2021. Thus far in the month of March, the BSE IT index has rallied 10 per cent, against 3 per cent gain in the Sensex.

Primary market Update

In the primary market, Anupam Rasayan’s Rs 760-crore IPO has been oversubscribed by 31 times till 4:40 pm on the last day of the issue.

On their second day, the IPOs of Laxmi Organics and Craftsman Automation have been oversubscribed by 6 times and 1.2 times so far.

Lastly, Kalyan Jewellers’ IPO, which opened today, has been subscribed 58 per cent till 4:40 PM.

Global markets

Asia-Pacific share markets excluding Japan strengthened 0.69%, led by a 1.2% jump in Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index while Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.5%.

China’s blue chip CSI 300 index climbed 0.55%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.46%.

In Europe, the pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.5%, inching closer to a record peak set last year.

And before we close, here are the other top developments of the day:

>> The Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved a bill to set up a Development Finance Institution (DFI) to generate funds for investment in the infrastructure sector.

The proposed legislation will give effect to the Budget announcement made by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1. The government has proposed Rs 20,000 crore to capitalise the institution.

>> Sweden on Tuesday became the latest European country to pause use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine amid reports of dangerous blood clots in some recipients. Germany, France, Italy and Spain were among countries that suspended use of the vaccine on Monday.

>> Unions in the public sector general insurance companies and Life Insurance Corporation of India will go on strike on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively to protesting against the government’s decision to privatise one of the general insurance companies, increasing foreign direct investment limit to 74 per cent and divest stakes in LIC by an initial public offer (IPO).

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