Domestic stock markets started Wednesday’s session on a largely flat note amid choppy trade, tracking a cautious trade in Asian peers. The S&P BSE Sensex opened 28.83 points lower at 38,701.99, and climbed to 38,801.92 – up 71.1 points from the previous close – after recovering early losses, and the NSE Nifty index moved to as much as 11,578.25, up 22.35 points from the previous close. Advances in banking and consumer goods stocks were offset by declines in IT and pharma shares.
At 9:17 am, the Sensex traded 16.94 points – or 0.04 per cent – lower at 38,713.88, while the Nifty was down 36.25 points – or 0.31 per cent – at 11,519.65.
Top gainers on the 50-scrip index at the time were Yes Bank, Tata Steel, IndusInd Bank and GAIL, trading between 1.95 per cent and 1.20 per cent higher. Prominent laggards included TCS, Tech Mahindra, Bajaj Finance and Infosys, struggling with losses of between 0.80 per cent and 2.07 per cent.
Reliance Industries, IndusInd Bank and Kotak Bank were the top contributors to the advances in Sensex, while TCS, Infosys and Bajaj Finance weighed on the index the most.
TCS or Tata Consultancy Services shares were in focus a day after the IT major reported a net profit of Rs. 8,131 crore for the quarter ended June 30, 2019, beating analysts’ estimates and kicking off the earnings.
The government is due to release data on industrial production and consumer inflation on Friday. IT services major Infosys will be releasing its earnings for the quarter ended June 30 on the same day.
Equities in other Asian markets inched ahead while higher Treasury yields lifted the dollar as markets wondered if the world’s most powerful central banker would confirm or confound expectations for US policy easing this month. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 0.2 per cent, after three sessions of losses.
South Korea shares climbed 0.6 per cent, but Japan’s Nikkei lagged with a loss of 0.15 per cent. E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 added 0.08 per cent.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will testify before the US Congress on Wednesday and Thursday.
Futures are still fully priced for a 25-basis-point cut at the Fed’s July 30-31 meeting, but have abandoned wagers on a half-point move. They had implied a 25 per cent probability of an aggressive cut before Friday’s upbeat jobs report.
Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow ended down 0.08 per cent, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq added 0.12 per cent and 0.54 per cent respectively.
The Sensex had ended up 10.25 points at 38,730.82 on Tuesday, after shedding 1,187.49 points, or 2.98 per cent – in the past two sessions. The 50-scrip Nifty index fell 390.85 points – or 3.27 per cent – during this period.