Sensex, Nifty end flat amid last hour volatility; bank indices off day’s high, TCS dips 5%

It was a consolidation day for the market on Tuesday after nearly 2 percent rally in the previous session, following sluggish global cues ahead of US inflation data due later today.

The market was steady with mild gains after the fall in February CPI inflation and better-than-expected January industrial output, but suddenly in last couple of hours of trade it wiped out all gains to turn volatile, before closing on a mixed note. PSU banks, select private banks and oil marketing companies gained while technology and infra stocks ended in the red.

The 30-share BSE Sensex failed to hold 34,000 levels, closing down 61.16 points at 33,856.78 while the Nifty managed to settled trade above 10,400 levels, rising 5.50 points to 10,426.90.

The midcaps outperformed frontliners, with the Nifty Midcap index gaining 0.77 percent despite last hour volatility. About two shares advanced for every share falling on the BSE.

Meanwhile, the consumer price index (CPI) inflation on Monday slipped to a four-month low of 4.44 percent in February, compared with 5.07 percent in January 2018 and industrial production maintained growth for the third consecutive month at 7.5 percent in January against 7.1 percent in previous month.

“The lower-than-expected CPI inflation and higher-than-expected IIP data are likely to allay fears of an interest rate hike by the Reserve Bank of India in its next policy meeting scheduled in the first week of April,” Anand Shah, Deputy CEO & Head of Investments BNP Paribas Mutual Fund said.

Nifty PSU Bank index trimmed gains to 2 percent from 5 percent due to correction in SBI that lost 3 percent from day’s high to end half percent higher.

Andhra Bank was the biggest loser among PSU banks, rising over 11 percent followed by Union Bank, Bank of Baroda, OBC, Syndicate Bank, Allahabad Bank, Canara Bank, IDBI Bank, Indian Bank and PNB that rallied 3-7 percent.

Nifty Bank index also came off day’s high, rising 0.3 percent (against more than 1 percent rally intraday) due to correction in HDFC Bank (down 0.37 percent) and Kotak Mahindra Bank (down 1.5 percent). ICICI Bank and Axis Bank gained 1-2 percent.

Oil marketing companies outperformed other Nifty stocks as HPCL and BPCL jumped 4.4 percent while IOC gained 2 percent.

TCS shares posted the biggest single day fall in percentage terms in over last three years, falling 5 percent after promoter Tata Sons sold around 1.5 percent stake in the IT major through block deals in opening. The Nifty IT index was down 1.5 percent.

Future Consumer rallied 19 percent. Motilal Oswal initiated coverage with Buy rating and set a target price of Rs 76, implying around 50 percent upside as it is the best play on the huge window of opportunity for brands using modern retail methods of distribution.

On the global front, global markets were mixed as investors look forward to the release of US inflation data later in the day. Nikkei gained 0.66 percent while Shanghai and ASX 200 fell 0.4 percent each.moneycontrol