Equities close in green on F&O expiry day

After volatile trading on the day of futures and options (F&O) expiry on Thursday, the key Indian equity indices pared all losses to close in the green, supported by short covering in consumer durables, automobile and oil and gas stocks and positive European markets.

However, investors remained cautious ahead of the announcement of the gross domestic product (GDP) data for the first quarter of the fiscal year slated to be announced later in the evening.

The wider 51-scrip Nifty of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) closed above the psychologically important 9,900-mark at 9,917.90 points — up 33.50 points or 0.34 per cent from its previous session’s close.

The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE, which opened at 31,685.44 points, closed at 31,730.49 points — up 84.03 points or 0.27 per cent from its previous close at 31,646.46 points.

The BSE market breadth was bullish with 1,510 advances and 1,062 declines.

“Carrying on from the previous session, markets continued to rally on Thursday after a shaky opening and a volatile session on the day of derivatives expiry. A rally in the European markets helped boost the market sentiments locally in the afternoon session,” Deepak Jasani, Head of Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

In terms of the broader market indices, the S&P BSE mid-cap index was up 0.22 per cent and the small-cap index by 0.78 per cent.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said: “Market recouped from the previous day’s loss, taking cues from positive global markets due to no further escalation in the geopolitical tensions.”

“The domestic market was also filliped by the better than anticipated tax collection under the GST regime,” Nair added.

On the currency front, the Indian rupee strengthened by 11-12 paise to 63.90-91 to a US dollar from its previous close at 64.02.

“Investors adopted a cautious approach ahead of the GDP data for the June quarter to be released later in the day. Covering up of pending short positions by speculators on the expiry of the August derivatives contracts helped the index recover in the last hour of trade,” Dhruv Desai, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Tradebulls, told IANS.

Sector-wise, the S&P BSE consumer durables index rose by 104.54 points, followed by the automobile index by 85.89 points and the oil and gas index by 83.61 points.

On the other hand, the S&P BSE healthcare index fell by 62.11 points, the banking index by 34.86 points and the metal index by 8.84 points.

Commenting on the recent rally witnessed in oil and gas stocks, Jonathan Baratt, CEO of CelsiusPro Australia, said: “Gasoline (prices) will continue to drive higher… We are seeing a high level of demand.”

“We are seeing that those inventories we now draw in the crude area, that will affect whatever crude that is out there, that obviously is being refined, and is causing a spike in the gasoline prices. So I think at the moment, we are going to see that to continue,” Baratt told BTVi in an interview.

Major Sensex gainers on Thursday were: Wipro, up 2.54 per cent at Rs 299.05; Bajaj Auto, up 2.24 per cent at Rs 2,808.45; Reliance Industries, up 1.88 per cent at Rs 1,593.50; Maruti Suzuki, up 1.67 per cent at Rs 7,696; and Cipla, up 1.44 per cent at Rs 575.

Major Sensex losers were: Coal India, down 1.45 per cent at Rs 238; Infosys, down 1.22 per cent at Rs 915.30; Mahindra and Mahindra, down 1.13 per cent at Rs 1,344.75; ONGC, down 1.01 per cent at Rs 157; and Dr. Reddy’s Lab, down 0.98 per cent at Rs 2,020.40.

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