Nifty holds 8,900 amid choppy trades; FMCG, Pharma shares lead

Markets rebounded in the last hour of trading to end higher as gains in defensive sectors such as pharma and FMCG coupled with HDFC group shares helped offset losses in IT majors and select Index heavyweights. 

Meanwhile, shares of metal companies declined across the bourses after China, the world’s largest consumer of metals, lowered its economic growth forecast for the current year

The 30-share Sensex gained 68 points to end at 29,449 and the 50-share Nifty rose 15 points to close at 8,938.

“Nifty was forming the Ascending triangle pattern on daily charts for the last one month and gave the breakout of the same in the early session of the yesterday trade, but couldn’t hold the high levels and slipped sharply in the afternoon session. It closed below the breakout levels due to major correction witnessed in banking stocks after surging over 4% on the opening note as RBI announced 25bps cut in its key rates. Thus, the technical charts are suggesting that nifty can give more downside in coming days to the range of 8800-8770 levels, this is also the 20 days moving average on the daily chart. As far as strategy is concern, “Any upside movement should be considered as selling opportunity for the downside target of 8800 levels” said Mudit Goyal, Equity Technical Analyst, SMC Global.

Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors were net buyers in equities worth Rs 2,786 crore on Wednesday as per provisional stock exchange data.

Investors remained cautious ahead of the US job data, due tomorrow amid a long weekend. The markets are closed on Friday for Holi, followed by the regular weekend holidays. 


The rupee edged up by a paise to Rs 62.24 against the American unit on mild selling of dollars by banks and exporters. The Reserve Bank of India will soon put in circulation currency notes in one rupee denomination. The notes will be printed by the Government of India,” Reserve Bank said in a statement today.


On the sectoral front, BSE Healthcare index emerged as the top gainer up over 2.5% followed by FMCG, Bankex and Auto indices up between 0.5-1%. However, BSE IT, Metal, Capital Goods indices lost sheen on the BSE and were down up to 1%. 

Capital goods stocks witnessed profit-booking in today’s trade. Larsen & Toubro and BHEL down 1% and 0.5% each. 

Shares of telecom companies ended lower due to investor worries that buying expensive spectrum could impact margins. India’s biggest auction of wireless radio waves started on Wednesday with phone companies making bids worth an estimated Rs.60,000 crore in all four spectrum bands that are on the block. Bharti Airtel lost 1%, Idea Cellular dropped 4% and Reliance Communication ended flat.

Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence Systems, along with Reliance Infrastructure, acquired Pipavav Defence, a private shipyard based in Pipavav in Gujarat, in an all-cash deal. As per the deal Reliance Infrastructure will acquire 18% stake from promoters of Pipavav Defence at Rs 63 per share and also make an open offer for addditional 26% stake at Rs 66 per share. Pipavav Defence is down 10% as the proceeds from the deal would go to the promoters and not the company while Reliance Infrastructure was up over 3%.

IT majors such as Infosys and TCS were down up to 2% as investors remained cautious ahead of the US jobs data. However, Wipro was up 1%. These companies generate most of their revenues from exports to the US.

FMCG major ITC which witnessed selling pressure in the previous sessions ended 0.7% higher while its peer Hindustan Unilever was up 2%.

The pharma stocks continued their upmove led by gains in pharma heavyweight Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries Sun Pharma extended gains and was up 3.6% after the company announced that it has reached an agreement with GSK Pharma to acquire the latter’s Opiates business in Australia.

Cipla’s Joint Venture partner, Stempeutics Research, has announced that the United States Patent and Trademarks Office (USPTO) has granted a US process patent for its novel stem-cell based drug Stempeucel that will be used for the treatment of Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI), a progressive form of peripheral arterial disease, which blocks the arteries in the lower extremities, resulting into reduction of the blood flow. The stock was up 2%. Dr Reddys Lab gained 1%.

Among bank shares, SBI shed around 0.3%. According to media reports, SBI plans raise between Rs 110 billion and Rs 150 billion ($ 1.8-$ 2.4 billion) via share sale by next month end. Axis Bank gained nearly 1%. Axis Bank has priced a $ 250 million bond issue via a tap of its existing 3.2 per cent senior unsecured notes due 2020. The notes, issued in Reg-S format will be fungible with the existing 2020 maturity paper.

Meanwhile, HDFC group shares ended higher up to 2% on renewed buying interest.

Shares of metal companies declined after China, the world’s largest consumer of metals, lowered its economic growth forecast for the current year. Tata Steel, Sesa Sterlite, Coal India and Hindalco shed up to 3.5%. 

ONGC lost around 0.3%%. ONGC Western Offshore Fields has touched 325,000 barrels oil per day on March, 3 2015. This is the highest production from Mumbai Offshore during the last five years.

In the broader market, both BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices ended higher between 0.6-0.8% .Market breadth ended marginally weak on the BSE with 1,454 declines versus 1,405 advances.