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Stocks end flat on profit booking in a choppy day

Friday, March 15, 2019

Benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty closed almost flat yesterday after a volatile trade as gains in financials and power stocks were balanced out by heavy profit booking in IT and energy counters.

The BSE Sensex erased its early gains to end up by just 2.72 points, or 0.01%, at 37,754.89, extending the winning run to a fourth session.

The broader NSE Nifty closed marginally up by 1.55 points, or 0.01%, at 11,343.25 as gains in financials like IndusInd Bank, Yes Bank, pharma and power stocks were offset by losses in IT, energy and auto stocks.

Financials such as IndusInd Bank, Yes Bank, Kotak Bank and HDFC rose up to 2.84% on expectations of loan growth following the RBI's move to inject liquidity through the dollar-rupee swap auction.

The RBI Wednesday said it would inject long-term liquidity worth USD 5 billion into the system through dollar-rupee swap arrangement with banks for three years.

NTPC was the top gainer among the Sensex stocks, rising by 3.53%. Coal India, ONGC and Sun Pharma also rose up to 2.41%. Bharti Airtel, Vedanta and Tata Steel also gained.

Losses in index heavyweight Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, and IT stocks such as TCS, Infosys and HCL Tech offset the gains.

RIL touched a 52-week high of Rs 1,361.45 in early trade but failed to hold onto the gains due to heavy profit booking and ended down by 0.41%.

HCL Tech with a 2.11% fall was the biggest loser among Sensex scrips. Hero MotoCorp, Tata Motors and PowerGrid were also among the laggards.

"Market was range bound and ended on a flat note while FIIs continued to pour liquidity into the domestic market. RBI's new mechanism to pump additional liquidity of USD 5 billion through foreign exchange swap from banks is likely to boost loan growth," Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said.

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