Equity indices close with marginal losses on F&O expiry day

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Equity indices close with marginal losses on F&O expiry day
Equity indices close with marginal losses on F&O expiry day

Mumbai : Amid volatility on the day of futures and options (F&O) expiry, key Indian equity indices on Thursday gave up all gains to close on a flat note -- marginally in the red -- with heavy selling pressure in banking, auto, and oil and gas stocks.

On a closing basis, the broader NSE Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) slipped by 12.85 points or 0.12 per cent to 10,477.90 points -- falling below the important 10,500-level.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) closed at 33,848.03 points -- down 63.78 points or 0.19 per cent -- from its previous session's close.

However, the BSE market breadth indicated a bullish trend with 1,436 stocks advancing as compared to 1,332 declines.

"Markets ended with marginal losses on Thursday on the back of the derivatives expiry of the December 2017 series. Selling in the last half an hour of trade pulled the indices into negative territory," Deepak Jasani, Head, Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

"The sudden increase in volatility was probably due to the roll-over of positions in the F&O segment from the December series to the January 2018 series. Metal and mining stocks rose as copper prices rose in global markets," he added.

In terms of the broader markets, the S&P BSE mid-cap index closed higher by 0.10 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.32 per cent.

On the currency front, the Indian rupee strengthened by seven paise to close at 64.08 against the US dollar from its previous close at 64.15.

Provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors purchased scrips worth Rs 562.55 crore while domestic institutional investors sold stocks worth Rs 774.09 crore.

Anand James, Chief Market Strategist, Geojit Financial Services, said: "Short covering rallies did not gather momentum ahead of the New Year weekend, but the metal and realty sectors gave some respite to an otherwise insipid session."

"Soaring oil prices potential for exceeding the fiscal deficit targets, are closely eyed, as the Oil Ministry has estimated a 15 per cent swell in the oil imports bill. Also, investors cautiously waited for updates on the IBC (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code) Amendment Bill tabled in the Lok Sabha, which dragged the PSU bank stocks," he added.

Sectorwise, the S&P BSE auto index fell by 94.03 points, followed by banking index by 78.09 points and oil and gas index by 75.32 points.

On the other hand, the S&P BSE metal index surged by 300.27 points, realty index by 74.90 points and basic materials index by 35.53 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Thursday were: Tata Steel, up 1.78 per cent at Rs 734.65; Dr. Reddy's Lab, up 1.30 per cent at Rs 2,431.75; HDFC Bank, up 0.82 per cent at Rs 1,873; Wipro, up 0.72 per cent at Rs 307.55; and ICICI Bank, up 0.51 per cent at Rs 314.25.

Major Sensex losers were: State Bank of India, down 1.86 per cent at Rs 308.30; Hero MotoCorp, down 1.74 per cent at Rs 3,713.50; Sun Pharma, down 1.70 per cent at Rs 567.90; Adani Ports, down 1.35 per cent at Rs 398.10; and Axis Bank, down 1.29 per cent at Rs 547.40.