The stocks were a picture of contrast today as the Sensex developed cold feet ahead of the key exit poll findings, coming off its 2-year high and shy of the 29,000-mark at the close. The broader Nifty too could not keep its earlier gains. Caution set in as investors decided to cut down their bets ahead of the key exit poll outcome for the ongoing assembly elections on Thursday.
Besides, the prospects of the Federal Reserve raising rates next week dampened sentiment here. The Sensex ended at 28,999.56 — a fall of 48.63 points, or 0.17 per cent. The gauge had rallied almost 216 points in the previous session, powered by index heavyweight RIL amid mixed global cues.
The 50-share NSE Nifty struggled to hit the key 9,000 and ended lower 16.55 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 8,946.90.
“The market witnessed profit booking due to the anxiety of investors ahead of the election result of five states. The result is likely to give an interim direction to the market, until then a consolidation may prevail,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
“On the global front, outcome of ECB monetary policy during this week will also generate some volatility.”
Overall, 20 shares fell in the Sensex pack.
From the Sensex pack, Tata Steel was the biggest loser, with a fall of 2.22 per cent, followed by Infosys 1.37 per cent.
RIL had recorded a strong rally yesterday, but faltered today. Lupin, Axis Bank, Maruti Suzuki and NTPC were among other losers.
Adani Ports hogged limelight as it rose the most by adding 1.97 per cent.
Metal contributed to the fall the most, down 1.79 per cent, followed by auto, healthcare and realty.
Outperforming the Sensex, the broader markets continued to show a firm trend, with the BSE mid-cap index rising 0.14 per cent and the small-cap 0.03 per cent.
Meanwhile, foreign funds bought shares net Rs 564.15 crore yesterday, as per provisional figures.
Asian stocks witnessed a mixed trend amid weak closing on the Wall Street overnight.
US stocks registered modest losses yesterday as the chances of a tighter monetary policy from the Federal Reserve sank in for investors while geopolitical concerns increased.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen last Friday said raising interest rates this month will be appropriate if economy holds up.
Europe was trading mixed in early session. The total turnover on BSE amounted to Rs 2,932.97 crore, lower than Rs 2,988.44 crore during the previous session.
“Barring media and IT indices, which eked out marginal gains, all other sectoral indices on the National Stock Exchange traded in the red,” said Karthikraj Lakshmanan, Senior Fund Manager – Equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund.