Investors ignored the Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das’ comments that the current surge in cases may not dampen the economic recovery. Das said that risk to growth downgrade remains low as chances of a lockdown like last year are remote.
For the day, the Nifty50 index ended 1.5 per cent, or 224.5 points, at 14,324.9, while the BSE-Sensex closed at 48,440.12, down 1.5 per cent or 740.19 points.
In the broader market, the losses were heavier as the Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 index ended 2.0 per cent and 2.2 per cent lower, respectively.
Here are the major movers in today’s trade:
stands tall in face of sell-off
Shares of the country’s largest steel maker ended nearly 3 per cent higher in a weak market as investors continue to bet on the company to report strong earnings for the March quarter. Analysts suggested that steel companies may continue to see higher prices, which further buttressed investor optimism.
State-owned refiners fall on demand worries
Shares of state-owned oil marketing companies ended lower as concerns rise over demand for retail fuel amid rising COVID-19 cases in most parts of the country. The weakness also reflected analysts’ concerns that the upcoming state elections may see OMCs halting price hikes in coming months, which may dent their marketing margins. Shares of IOC, BPCL and HPCL ended over 2 per cent lower.
Auto stocks slump on production worries
Shares of automobile companies fell on concerns that the rising global semi-conductor chip shortage could cripple production in the country as it has done at several global companies. Further, the emergence of second wave of COVID-19 infections has also pared investor optimism for demand in the sector. The Nifty Auto index closed 2.8 per cent lower.
PSU banks knocked out on profit booking
Shares of state-owned lenders took among the heaviest beating today as investors looked at booking profits in the space after their sharp run-up since the beginning of the year. The sector’s outlook has also been muddled by the second wave and concerns around reporting higher non-performing loans in the coming quarter due to end of the SC’s temporary halt on reporting of bad loans. The Nifty PSU Bank index closed 2.6 per cent.
What gave sell signal?
As many as 36 stocks listed on the NSE gave a sell signal today based on MACD indicators including Infosys, HCL Technologies, Tech Mahindra and Tata Consumer Products.
What’s ahead for the market?
Traders sold both the out-of-money call and put options of the Nifty50 index suggesting that they are indecisive over the direction of the market in the coming week. In the futures segment, traders added short positions in the April contract of Nifty50.
“The Nifty respected the support of 14,300-14,350 on a closing basis. However, if we break 14,300 on a closing basis, we will plummet further to levels closer to 13,600. On the upside, the resistance is at 14,900 and any upside correction can be utilized to short the index for newer targets on the downside,” Manish Hathiramani, technical analyst at Deen Dayal Investments.