Benchmark indices open lower on Tuesday. BSE Sensex declined by 158.08 pts or 0.21 per cent to trade at 73,714.21 as of 9:35 am and Nifty 50 was down by 39.25 pts or 0.18 per cent to trade at 22,366.35.

Nifty small-cap 50 declined by 0.35 per cent to 7,385.25, and the mid-cap 50 was up by 0.15 per cent at 14,077.40. The majority of the sectoral indices except nifty auto, PSU bank, realty and oil & gas, traded negative as of 9.43 am. Nifty Auto was up by 1.73 per cent to trade at 21,200, while Nifty PSU Bank was up by 0.83 per cent to trade at 7,198.80. Nifty IT stocks declined by 0.90 per cent to trade at 36,978.45.

Dr. V K Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist, Geojit Financial Services, said, “While the market is steady the small-cap index is showing some strain with a cut of 0.5 per cent yesterday. Perhaps, there is some selling happening in small caps in response to the SEBI advisory to mutual funds flagging concerns of excessive valuations. Weakness in the small-cap segment is likely to continue. The Chinese National People’s Congress which has begun will be keenly watched by the markets.”

“Announcements relating to the initiation of growth-stimulating reforms have the potential to attract big money into their stock market, which is now trading at cheap valuations. Therefore, it is important to watch out for developments in China. While there is fundamental support to the Indian stock market, high valuations can constrain further rallies. The market is likely to remain range-bound in the near-term. As expected RIL has crossed ₹3,000 level,” Vijayakumar added.

Commenting on the nifty outlook, Anand James, Chief Market Strategist at Geojit Financial Services, said, “Yesterday’s doji takes away a lot of momentum, from Friday’s large upside. Further, the proximity of last week’s objective of 22,450-550, as well as sideways moves in the last seven hours, hints at exhaustion. If 22,380 holds, expect Nifty to get back to the 22,800 orbit, but slippage past the same could ring in caution, though we expect 22,220-180 to attract fresh buying interest.”

Vaishali Parekh, Vice President - Technical Research at Prabhudas Lilladher Pvt Ltd, has stated that the support for the nifty index is seen at 22,300 level, while the resistance would be seen at 22,500.

Stocks that were the top gainers on the NSE at 9:47 am on Tuesday were Tata Motors (6.37 per cent), UPL (2.09 per cent), M&M (1.72 per cent), Bajaj Auto (1.21 per cent), and SBI (0.93 per cent), while HCL Tech (-1.22 per cent), TCS (-1.19 per cent), Infosys (-0.90 per cent), ICICI Bank (-0.81 per cent), and Axis Bank (-0.75 per cent) were major laggards. Tata Motors stock has hit a 52-week high at ₹1,065.60 today.

Meanwhile, IIFL Finance stock has hit the lower circuit at ₹477.75, down by 19.99 per cent on the NSE.

Infibeam Avenues stock surged 5.84 per cent on the NSE to trade at ₹37.15 as of 10:03 am, following the receipt of final authorisation from the RBI to operate as an online payment aggregator for the payment gateway brand – CCAvenue.

Godrej Properties Ltd has secured the contract to develop a land parcel in Noida through an e-auction conducted by the NOIDA Authority. The stock traded at ₹2,505 on the NSE as of 9:52 am, up by 0.52 per cent.

Cyient stock declined by 1.09 per cent to trade at ₹1,994 on the NSE, after the company announced a partnership with Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council (MassMedic) to accelerate med-tech innovation.

Indian Energy Exchange (IEX), trading at ₹151.25 on the NSE down by 1.50 per cent, has recorded 9,462 MU overall volume in February 2024, a 15.4 per cent y-o-y increase.