Sensex Ends 300 pts Lower, Nifty Below 18,000; Bajaj Finance Cracks 7%

Sensex Today: Domestic markets closed lower for the second consecutive day after traders digested hawkish minutes from the US Federal Reserve’s December meeting. Though benchmark indices opened with marginal gains in Thursday’s trade, it later nosedived into negative territory. While the S&P BSE Sensex cracked over 600 points to hit day’s low of 60,049 levels, renewed buying across metals, auto, pharma stocks helped the benchmark trim losses to close at 60,353 levels, down 304 points or 0.5 per cent.

The NSE Nifty, on the other hand, closed at 17,992 levels, down 50 points or 0.28 per cent.

Broader markets, meanwhile, outperformed benchmark indices as Nifty MidCap 100 and Nifty SmallCap 100 indices rose up to 0.4 per cent.

Sectorally, Nifty Pharma, Nifty FMCG, Nifty Auto, and Nifty Metal indices were the top performers, as they surged up to 1 per cent. However, Nifty Financial Services and Nifty IT indices were subdued in trade, declining up to 1 per cent.

Among individual stocks, Bajaj Finance was the top laggard on the Sensex index, down over 8 per cent, after the consumer finance reported that assets under management (AUM) grew by 27 per cent year-on-year (YoY), lower than market expectations, to Rs 2.30 trillion as of December 31, 2022.

Santosh Meena, Head of Research, Swastika Investmart Ltd., said: “Indian equity markets are witnessing sharp selling pressure, and the major reason behind this weakness is that FIIs’ selling is back after a holiday period. Global cues are volatile, but we have underperformed for the last two days because FIIs are taking from the Indian markets while other markets are already beaten down. Recession is a key buzzword globally, and various news related to COVID is also causing volatility in the market. Stock and sector-specific moves, on the other hand, have continued ahead of the budget.”

“Technically, Nifty is trading near its 100-day moving average of 17,900, and last week we bounced back from there. If Nifty manages to hold its 100-DMA, then we can expect a short covering move because the market is oversold as per the put call ratio and FIIs’ short exposure in index futures. If the Nifty begins to fall below its 100-day moving average, selling pressure may intensify towards the 17,777, 17,550, and 17,425 levels.On the upside, 18,088 and 18,233 will be key resistance levels. Banknifty has slipped below its 50-DMA, where 42,200 is an immediate support while 41,700 is the next important support level. On the upside, 42,800–43,000 is an immediate supply zone, while 43,500–43,600 is a key resistance zone,” he said.

Global Cues

Asian shares rose on Thursday on investor hopes for China’s emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic, while the dollar stayed under pressure even as the US Federal Reserve had a warning against market bets on interest rate cuts this year.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.42 per cent, the Nikkei 225 in Japan was up 0.35 per cent, while the Kospi rose 0.71 per cent in South Korea.

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped two-day losing streak and rose 0.4 per cent; the S&P 500 0.75 per cent; and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.69 per cent.

In the commodities market, Brent crude price slipped over 5 per cent overnight to $78 per barrel, falling nearly 10 per cent in two days, which may lend support to market bulls today.

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