Stock markets in choppy waters, L&T drags Sensex to close lower

The Bombay Stock Exchange building in Mumbai. File
| Photo Credit: REUTERS

Benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty pared early gains to close marginally lower in highly volatile trade on Thursday due to losses in Larsen & Toubro and cautious trading ahead of the release of domestic inflation data.

The 30-share BSE Sensex declined 35.68 points or 0.06% to settle at 61,904.52 after hitting the crucial 62,000 mark in opening deals. During the day, it hit a low of 61,823.07 and a high of 62,168.22.

The NSE Nifty dipped 18.10 points or 0.10% to end at 18,297.

Among the Sensex firms, Larsen & Toubro tumbled over 5% after the firm said its Non-Executive Chairman A.M. Naik has decided to step down from the post.

ITC, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Industries, Infosys, Tata Steel, Tech Mahindra and Tata Consultancy Services were the other laggards.

However, Asian Paints rose the most by 3.22% after it posted a 43.97% growth in consolidated net profit to ₹1,258.41 crore for the fourth quarter.

Hindustan Unilever, NTPC, IndusInd Bank, UltraTech Cement and Maruti were the gainers.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services said, “The gains in the domestic market were tempered by weak earnings reported by a few heavyweight companies. On the global front, markets remained positive as U.S. inflation eased below 5%, providing reassurance to investors that the Fed’s rate hike measures have been effective in managing inflation levels” In Asia, Seoul, Shanghai and Hong Kong markets ended lower while Tokyo settled in the green.

Markets in Europe were trading in the green. The U.S. market ended mostly in negative territory on Wednesday.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) were net buyers on Wednesday as they bought equities worth ₹1,833.13 crore, according to exchange data.

Meanwhile, global oil benchmark Brent crude jumped 0.93% to $77.12 per barrel.

The BSE benchmark had climbed 178.87 points or 0.29% to settle at 61,940.20 points on Wednesday. The Nifty gained 49.15 points or 0.27% to end at 18,315.10 points.

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