Sensex closes flat, Nifty slips on profit-taking by investors

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Mumbai: Benchmark Sensex closed almost flat in a range-bound trade on Monday as investors booked profits in index heavyweights amid high valuation concerns.

The 30-share BSE Sensex edged up 17.39 points or 0.02 per cent to settle at 73,895.54. The barometer hit a high of 74,359.69 and a low of 73,786.29.

The broader NSE Nifty declined 33.15 points or 0.15 per cent to close at 22,442.70.

From the Sensex basket, Kotak Mahindra Bank jumped 5 per cent after the company reported a 25 per cent growth in its March quarter net profit at Rs 5,302 crore, limited by a drop in the core income due to narrow interest margins.

Tata Consultancy Services, Hindustan Unilever, Mahindra & Mahindra, Sun Pharma, Tech Mahindra and IndusInd Bank were among the other major gainers.

Titan tanked 7 per cent after its March quarter earnings failed to cheer investors.

State Bank of India, NTPC, Power Grid, Bajaj Finance and Larsen & Toubro were the other laggards.

The domestic indices traded in a range-bound manner, said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

“The broader indices also witnessed major selling pressure due to valuation concerns and profit-booking,” he added.

“Today, the benchmark indices witnessed lacklustre activity – the Nifty ends 33 points lower while the Sensex was up by 17 points,” said Shrikant Chouhan, Head Equity Research, Kotak Securities.

In the broader market, the BSE smallcap gauge declined 1.06 per cent, midcap index dipped 0.95 per cent.

Consumer durables tanked 3.85 per cent, services declined 1.95 per cent, utilities (1.76 per cent), power (1.26 per cent), industrials (0.80 per cent) and commodities (0.78 per cent).

Healthcare, IT, auto, realty and teck were the gainers.

Aditya Gaggar Director of Progressive Shares said that a steep correction in PSU stocks put pressure on the index to trade lower. A vertical fall in the Mid and Smallcaps dented the market sentiments further however, select FMCG, IT, and Pharma counters supported the market, he added.

Global oil benchmark Brent crude climbed 0.80 per cent to USD 83.62 a barrel.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) offloaded equities worth Rs 2,391.98 crore on Friday, according to exchange data.

In Asian markets, Shanghai and Hong Kong settled in the positive territory. Japan and South Korea’s markets were closed for the holidays.

European markets were trading with gains. Wall Street ended with significant gains on Friday.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said that the Indian market has “unexplored” opportunities which his conglomerate holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, would like to explore “in the future”.

Buffett’s remarks came at Berkshire’s annual meeting on Friday when Rajeev Agarwal of DoorDarshi Advisors, a US-based hedge fund that invests in Indian equities, asked him about the possibility of Berkshire exploring in India, the world’s fifth-largest economy.

The BSE benchmark dropped 732.96 points or 0.98 per cent to settle at 73,878.15 on Friday. The NSE Nifty also declined 172.35 points or 0.76 per cent to 22,475.85.

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