Sensex index: Sensex drops 304 pts on profit bookings; Nifty slips below 17,250

NEW DELHI: Thanks to profit taking after yesterday’s gains, benchmarks closed lower on Wednesday, amid prospects of sharp interest rate hikes in Western countries and the ongoing war in Europe.

Investors were cautious as the market recouped all the losses it suffered due to the outbreak of war and now the countdown to earnings season has begun. Metal stocks saw buying while autos saw selling.

The 30-pack of Sensex shares lost 304.48 points or 0.53% to close at 57,684.82. Its broader counterpart NSE Nifty fell 69.85 points or 0.40% to 17,245.65.

“Volatility is back due to inflationary pressures triggered by supply constraints. As input costs steadily rise and demand falls due to the surge in covid cases in some parts of the world, war and high commodity prices are impacting earnings growth, which may result in a downward revision to the outlook,” said Vinod Nair, head of research at Geojit Financial Services. .

“It’s prudent to stick to sectors or themes that are doing well, but avoid going overboard.”

— Ajit Mishra, Religare Brokerage

The market at a glance:

  • Indian hotels jumped over 3% after QIP launch
  • HDFC fell more than 2% despite recording highest retail loans on record in a year
  • India VIX, barometer of future volatility, rose 3% to 24.75
  • Jindal Saw jumped 2% after reports of bagging order worth Rs 9,300 cr
  • Paytm fell another 4% to new all-time lows

Among the bluechip names, Divi’s Labs was the biggest gainer, up 2.51%. Hindalco Industries, Tata Steel, Dr Reddy’s Labs, UPL, ITC, JSW Steel and Power Grid were other big winners.

Kotak Mahindra Bank was the biggest loser in the Nifty pack, falling 2.61%. HDFC, Britannia Industries, Bharti Airtel, Sun Pharma, Maruti Suzuki and Bajaj Auto were other names that ended in the red.

Broader market indices ended mixed, but outperformed their major peers. Nifty Smallcap fell 0.21% and Nifty Midcap added 0.55%. Nifty 500, the broadest index on NSE, ended down 0.20%.

City Union Bank, Tata Communications, Indian Hotels, Indian Energy Exchange, Alok Industries and Infibeam Avenues were the main gainers in the mid and small cap indices. Chambal Fertilizers, TV18 Broadcast, Gujarat Narmada Fertilizers, Dhani Services, ICICI Securities and SRF were the main losers in a broader market.

The NSE sector matrix was mixed. Nifty Auto was the biggest loser, down 1.04%, followed by Nifty Financial Services. Nifty Metal was the biggest gainer, rising 1.21%. Nifty Pharma and Nifty Media also managed to close with gains.

The breadth of the market was in favor of the losers as 1,463 stocks ended in the green, while 1,935 names settled with cuts. As many as 126 stocks hit 52-week highs, mostly in the small cap space. Meanwhile, 30 names hit 52-week lows, mostly in the microcaps space. About 291 stocks reached the upper limits of the circuit and 274 the lower limits of the circuit.

European markets were trading mixed. The London-based FTSE climbed 0.21% while Paris and Frankfurt fell 0.22% and 0.26%, respectively. In Asia, with the exception of Indonesia, all markets closed with gains.