Late recovery helped the 50-share NSE Nifty close the October series above psychological 8600-mark, driven by index heavyweights ITC, ICICI Bank and HDFC Group stocks. Short covering after two-day fall and second quarter earnings lifted market sentiment but upside capped due to asset quality concerns and weak global cues.
Equity benchmarks outperformed global peers as well as broader markets. The BSE Sensex was up 79.39 points at 27915.90 while the NSE Nifty closed flat at 8615.25 after hitting an intraday high of 8624.85 and low of 8550.25.
“Rollovers remained below average on October derivatives expiry day, suggesting a cautious approach, which was understandable given the event risks that lay ahead next week from US presidential elections as well as FOMC rate decision,” Anand James of Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.
The broader markets remained under pressure with the BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices falling 0.8-1 percent on negative breadth. About 1601 shares declined against 1063 advancing shares on the exchange.
In October series, the Nifty gained 0.3 percent and the Sensex was up 0.2 percent but broader markets outperformed. The Nifty Midcap jumped 3.5 percent and BSE Smallcap index gained 6.5 percent.
HDFC was the biggest gainer, up 3.5 percent followed by ITC, ICICI Bank, Bharti Airtel and Cipla that gained 1-2 percent whereas Asian Paints, Tata Motors, SBI, Lupin and Wipro lost 1-3 percent.
Dr Reddy’s Labs climbed over 2 percent after it announced new strategic deal with Gland Pharma to market and distribute 8 injectable ANDAs in US.
Sun Pharma gained 0.8 percent after it acquired Ocular Technologies from Auven Therapeutics and launched generics of Benicar, Benicar HCT, Azor & Tribenzor in US.
Maruti Suzuki was down 0.2 percent on profit booking after hitting a record high of Rs 5,950.2 as it already priced in stellar earnings performance. Profit shot up more than 60 percent YoY and margin expanded to 17.3 percent on strong volume growth in Q2.
Profit booking also dragged Hero Motocorp 3 percent as the stock already factored in strong earnings performance. The company on Thursday after market hours announced 28 percent growth in Q2 profit YoY. Bajaj Auto was down 2 percent ahead of quarterly numbers on Friday.
State-run oil & gas exploration company ONGC’s profit rose 17.5 percent sequentially to Rs 4,975 crore in Q2 and announced bonus issue in the proportion of one share for every two shares held. The stock closed flat.
IOC slipped 3 percent after reporting a 62 percent fall in profit on sequential basis while Vijaya Bank surged nearly 11 percent after improvement in asset quality and a 34 percent rise in profit YoY.
On the global front, European markets were under pressure with France’s CAC, Germany’s DAX and Britain’s FTSE down 0.2-0.4 percent, at the time of writing this article. Asia also ended lower with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng falling 0.8 percent.