The equity markets exhibited positive trend on Thursday at open. But that was short lived, as both the NSE and the Sensex slipped quickly.

Settlement of November F&O contracts at NSE trigger volatility and some traders booked profits, said analysts.

The NSE Nifty after opening firm at 20108.50, currently ruling at 20,045, down 0.27 per cent lower while the BSE Sensex slipped over 200 points or 0.3 per cent, to 66,692. was up 0.74 per cent.

A total of 2,964 stocks were traded on the BSE, of which, 1,732 advanced, while 1,100 declined and 132 stocks remained unchanged. As many as 144 stocks hit a 52 week high and 15 stocks hit a 52 week low at 10 am on Thursday.

Prashanth Tapse, Senior VP (Research), Mehta Equities Ltd, said, “A positive opening is likely on the cards on the back of gains in the Gift Nifty index, but overnight weakness in US markets and subsequent fall in Asian indices could limit the gains. As traders square off their positions on the monthly expiry day today, intra-day volatility could be seen. Investors will also keep an eye on Fed Chief Powell’s speech on Friday for clues on what the central bank is thinking on the interest rate front. All anxious eyes will be on the much-awaited exit poll predictions for five states namely Mizoram, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Telangana to trickle in later in the evening. Technically, if Nifty faces selling pressure then it could find support at 20000, while hurdles seen only at all-time high at 20,223 mark.”

Major gainers on the BSE include Alembic Pharma, The New India Assurance Company, Carysil, L.G Balkrishnan & Bros, General Insurance Corporation of India with gains ranging from 12.86 per cent to 6.36 per cent. Major losers on the BSE include Cressanda solutions, Aster DM Healthcare, Adani Total Gas, Jaiprakash Power Ventures Limited with losses ranging from 4.89 per cent to 2.82 per cent

BSE MidCap (0.24 per cent) and BSE SmallCap (0.21 per cent) indicated gains.

Stocks that hit a 52 week high on the NSE include 63 moons technologies, Ahluwalia Contracts (India) Limited, Anand Rathi Wealth Limited, Anant Raj Limited, Asian Hotels (North) Limited. Stocks that hit a 52 week low on the NSE include Bohra Industries., Sel Manufacturing, Shaily, Raj Rayon Industries Limited