Mumbai: The stocks were a picture of contrast on Tuesday as the Sensex developed cold feet ahead of the key exit poll findings, coming off its two-year high and slipping marginally below the 29,000-mark. The broader Nifty too could not keep its earlier gains.
Traders said caution set in as investors decided to cut down their bets ahead of the key exit poll outcome on Thursday for the ongoing assembly elections.
Besides, the prospect of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates next week dampened trading sentiment here. The BSE Sensex after opening higher advanced on the back of strong foreign inflows, but quickly slipped into the negative zone and hit a low of 28,957.68 as participants locked-in gains.
It ended at 28,999.56— a fall of 48.63 points, or 0.17%. The gauge had rallied almost 216 points in the previous session powered by solid gains in index heavyweight RIL amid mixed global cues. Overall, 20 shares fell among Sensex’s 30 constituents.
The 50-share NSE Nifty struggled to reach the key 9,000-mark due to profit-booking and ended lower 16.55 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 8,946.90 after moving between 8,977.85 and 8,932.80 during the day.
From the Sensex pack, Tata Steel was the biggest loser, with a fall of 2.22%, to Rs 482, followed by Infosys 1.37%, to Rs 1,019.70. Shares of RIL which recorded strong rally yesterday, succumbed shed 0.01%. Among other losers, Lupin, Axis Bank, Maruti Suzuki, NTPC, Tata Motors, SBI, Hero MotoCorp, Sun Pharma, Asian Paints, M&M, Cipla, Coal India, ICICI Bank and Bharti Airtel tanked up to 1.36%.
However, Adani Ports hogged limelight as it rose the most by surging 1.97%. ONGC, TCS, HDFC Bank, GAIL, PowerGrid, L&T, ITC Ltd, Hind Unilever and Wipro also rose. Among BSE sectoral and industry indices, metal fell the most 1.79% followed by auto, healthcare and realty.
Outperforming the Sensex, the broader markets continued to show a firm trend, with the BSE mid-cap index rising 0.14% and the small-cap gaining 0.03%.
Meanwhile, foreign funds bought shares net Rs564.15 crore on Monday as per the provisional figures. Overseas, Asian stocks witnessed a mixed trend amid weak closing on the Wall Street overnight.
US stocks registered modest losses yesterday as the chances of a tighter monetary policy from the Federal Reserve sank in for investors while geopolitical concerns increased.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen last Friday said raising interest rates this month would likely be appropriate.
Among other Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei ended 0.18% lower, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed 0.36% higher and Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.26%.
European markets were trading mixed in their early deals as Paris CAC 40 fell 0.16% but Frankfurt’s DAX rose 0.21%. London’s FTSE rose 0.15%.