Stock markets: As investors went for profit-taking after a record-breaking run in domestic markets, equity benchmark indices declined in early trade on Thursday — halting their five-day rally. The 30-share BSE Sensex fell 171.62 points to 66,925.82 after a tepid beginning. The NSE Nifty declined 48.6 points to 19,784.55.
From the Sensex pack, Infosys, HCL Technologies, UltraTech Cement, Tata Consultancy Services, Bajaj Finance and Nestle were the major laggards. State Bank of India, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, ICICI Bank and IndusInd Bank were among the gainers.
How did Asian and US markets fare?
In Asian markets, Tokyo and Shanghai were trading lower while Seoul and Hong Kong were quoted in the green. The US markets ended in positive territory on Wednesday. Global oil benchmark Brent crude climbed 0.11 per cent to USD 79.55 a barrel.
Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) continued their buying activity as they bought equities worth Rs 1,165.47 crore on Wednesday, according to exchange data.Rallying for the fifth day running, the BSE benchmark had jumped 302.30 points or 0.45 per cent to settle at its record high of 67,097.44 on Wednesday.
During the day, it had rallied 376.24 points or 0.56 per cent to reach its all-time intra-day peak of 67,171.38. The Nifty gained 83.90 points or 0.42 per cent to end at its lifetime closing high of 19,833.15 in the previous trade. During the day, it climbed 102.45 points or 0.51 per cent to hit record intra-day peak of 19,851.70.
“The demerger of Jio Financial Services from RIL and the Q1 results of Infosys, HUL and a host of mid-cap IT companies can cause a lot of price action in the market today,” V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist at Geojit Financial Services, said. NSE conducted a special pre-open session for Reliance Industries Ltd on Thursday on account of the demerger of its financial services business, Reliance Strategic Investments Ltd.
Rupee gains against dollar
Meanwhile, the rupee gained 6 paise to 82.02 against the US dollar in early trade on Thursday supported by steady foreign fund inflows. However, a surge in crude oil prices capped sharp gains for the local unit, forex traders said.
At the interbank foreign exchange, the domestic unit opened at 82.05, then touched a high of 82.02 against the American currency, registering a rise of 6 paise over its last close. On Wednesday, the rupee had settled at 82.08 against the dollar.
Softness in the US dollar and sustained FII inflows supported the rupee, forex traders said, adding that the strength in crude oil prices remains a concern for the local unit, as a sharp surge in prices could limit its gains.
Participants in the rupee and dollar markets are eagerly awaiting cues from the upcoming Federal Reserve rate decision next week, traders said. The dollar index, which gauges the greenback’s strength against a basket of six currencies, fell 0.22 per cent to 100.06.
(With PTI inputs)