India’s stock market continued its lackluster trading for the third straight session as it struggled for firm direction amid the absence of any major developments on the domestic or global front. Additionally, mixed signals from global peers also weighed on the market, with lingering concerns over Ukraine-Russia tensions and fears of aggressive US Federal Reserve policy triggering a sell-off in stocks. world. The Ukrainian crisis prompted investors to go into risk aversion mode and focus on safe havens.
Extending the slide for the third session, the BSE Sensex closed 59 points, or 0.1%, down at 57,833, and the NSE Nifty was down 23 points, or 1.16%, at 17,276.
In a similar trend, the broader markets also finished lower. The S&P BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices fell 0.8% each.
The overall market breadth on BSE was negative, with 2,272 shares falling out of a total of 3,706 shares traded. Only 1,288 stocks advanced and 146 remained unchanged.
Excluding capital goods and banking, all sectors end in red
On the sector front, all indices closed in negative territory, with the exception of capital goods and banks. The BSE real estate index was the biggest loser with a loss of 1.23%, led by Sobha, Godrej Industries, Indiabulls Real Estate, Sunteck Realty and DLF.
The BSE oil and gas index also saw a strong increase in sales and ended down 1.14%. The main losers in the oil and gas sector were ONGC, Adani Total Gas, Petronet LNG, HPCL and Reliance Industries.
Top winners and losers
Both the BSE Barometer and benchmark Sensex closed slightly lower with 13 of the top 30 stocks closing higher. The top Sensex pack winner was mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd. (HDFC), which ended up 1.25%.
Other notable gainers are Larsen & Toubro, Axis Bank, State Bank of India and Kotak Mahindra Bank, which rose 0.7%.
On the losing side, UltraTech Cement topped the charts with a 2.03% decline. Other underperformers include Mahindra & Mahindra, Infosys, Reliance Industries and Bajaj Finance, which fell in the range of 0.7% to 1.4%.
Shares in the news
Ambuja cements: Shares of the company ended down 5.9% after reporting a weak operational performance for the December quarter due to higher fuel prices and flat achievements. Profit after tax decreased by 36.2% year-on-year to ₹317.4 crore, mainly due to lower operating margins and an exceptional charge of ₹65.7 crore due to restructuring.
GR infraprojects: The share of construction and engineering companies closed down 2.3%, after falling 4% to an all-time low of ₹1,485.80 on BSE. The share price has fallen 22% so far this February after announcing disappointing results for the December quarter (Q3FY22).
TCPL packaging: Shares of TCPL Packaging rose 20% to a 52-week high of ₹727 with a good outlook. The company reported a 20% year-on-year (YoY) rise in cash profit to ₹34.8 crore for the December quarter (Q3FY22), while revenue rose 12.9% year-on-year to 274 ₹ crores.
Venky’s (India): Shares of the poultry processing company closed down 2.2% following reports of bird flu in Thane, Maharashtra.
Veritas India: The stock price fell 2% as investors weighed the disappointed December quarter results. Net profit fell 40% year-on-year to ₹17.8 crore in the third quarter of the current financial year from ₹29.5 crore in the same period a year ago.
Global stocks mixed on Ukraine woes
Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region and the European market were trading mixed today amid looming fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. US President Joe Biden has warned that Moscow may be on the verge of invading Ukraine as it has failed to withdraw its troops from the border. Russia has amassed 45,000 troops in Belarus, near the Ukrainian border.
Australia’s ASX 200 index ended down 1%, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.4% and Singapore’s Straits Times index lost 0.35%.
The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was the region’s worst performer with a loss of 1.88%, while Taiwan Weighted fell 0.2%.
On the other hand, mainland China stocks were among the best performers in the regional market, with the Shenzhen component and the Shanghai composite up 0.27% and 0.66%, respectively. South Korea’s KOSPI finished a little higher, Indonesia’s Jakarta Composite jumped 0.84% and Thailand’s SET Composite finished slightly higher.
In the European market, stocks opened on a mixed note, after a negative finish on Wall Street overnight. Investors were awaiting the outcome of US Federal Reserve policy as the central bank begins its two-day meeting tonight. The German DAX is down slightly early in the trade, while the French CAC index and the UK FTSE 100 index are trading a bit higher.
In day-to-day trade, all three major U.S. indexes closed lower amid concerns over political tensions between Russia and Ukraine. The Nasdaq Composite Index was the worst performer with a 2.9% loss as growth-oriented tech stocks were hammered by fears of a rate hike. The S&P 500 fell more than 2% and the Dow Jones lost 1.8%.