Sensex ends flat; Fed policy decision awaited

Our Bureau Agencies Chennai | Updated on January 10, 2018


Capital goods, healthcare stocks major gainers

The Sensex and Nifty ended flat as investors remained cautious ahead of the Fed policy decision to be announced later today.

The caution in financial markets ahead of the Fed has kept some investors from making sharper adjustments to their positions despite potentially higher tensions over the Korean peninsula following hawkish statements from US President Donald Trump overnight.

The Fed is due to announce its decision at 1800 GMT on Wednesday and is widely expected to keep rates unchanged after a two-day meeting but could begin paring its bond holdings, with reductions likely to start in coming months.

The 30-share BSE index Sensex ended down by 1.86 points or 0.01 per cent at 32,400.51 and the 50-share NSE index Nifty was down 6.4 points or 0.06 per cent at 10,141.15.

Among BSE sectoral indices, capital goods index gained the most by 0.54 per cent, followed by healthcare 0.23 per cent, FMCG 0.15 per cent and infrastructure 0.04 per cent. On the other hand, auto index was down 0.69 per cent, consumer durables 0.66 per cent, oil & gas 0.42 per cent and power 0.35 per cent.

Top five Sensex gainers were Dr Reddy's (+3.33%), Tata Steel (+1.64%), ITC (+1.27%), State Bank of India (+1.03%) and Wipro (+0.99%), while the major losers were Hero MotoCorp (-2.29%), Tata Motors (-1.98%), Sun Pharma (-1.96%), HUL (-1.66%) and ICICI Bank (-1.21%).

Market heavyweight Reliance Industries Ltd hit a record high as a cut in mobile interconnect fee is seen benefiting the company's telecom unit.

The country's telecom regulator more than halved a fee that mobile carriers pay for calls made from one network to another, which could hurt leading operators including Bharti Airtel Ltd .

However, Reliance Jio, which offers free outgoing calls, will benefit from the move as it has more outgoing calls to third-party networks, according to Morgan Stanley analysts.

“For Bharti Airtel and the like, the impact from the IUC (interconnect usage charges) cut will be larger as they are purely telecom operators as opposed to Reliance Industries, which is more diversified,” said Anita Gandhi, whole-time director, Arihant Capital Markets.

“There is a general fatigue in the market after a rally with some amount of consolidation. Markets are expected to consolidate till companies report their September-quarter earnings,” said Gandhi.

Among major gainers, ITC, Reliance Industries, Dr Reddy’s and HDFC rose up to 3 per cent.

HeroMotoCorp fell the most by 2.29 per cent among Sensex scrips. Tata Motors Hindustan Unilever, ICICI and Sun Pharma fell up to 2 per cent.

Bharti Airtel recovered from early losses to end 0.39 per centy higher even as regulator Trai announced slashing of mobile call connection charge by more than half to 6 paise a minute and said no rate will apply from January 1, 2020, a move that may benefit newcomer Reliance Jio

Oil and Natural Gas Corp rose as much as 3 per cent to a three-month high after Reuters reported that the oil explorer discovered reserves of about 20 million tonnes of oil and gas, citing sources. Broader gains were capped by profit-taking in stocks such as ICICI Bank Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd .

ICICI Bank fell as much as 1.2 per cent and Bharat Petroleum declined up to 2.8 per cent after two straight sessions of gain.

Asian shares

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.05 per cent. Japan's Nikkei was effectively flat. Shanghai added 0.3 per cent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.2 per cent.

The three major US stock indexes edged higher on Tuesday, logging record closes, with financial stocks providing the biggest boost.

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Published on September 20, 2017
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