Market benchmark Sensex ended with a small gain on Thursday after giving up much of its 200-point early lead as advances in banking stocks offset losses in IT sector amid reports that Reserve Bank trimmed the list of companies required for bad loan provisioning.
Broader markets, however, came under pressure as investors locked in gains, pulling down the small-cap and mid-cap index by 0.52% and 0.50%, respectively.
Global setup continued to remain positive ahead of a euro zone interest rate decision later in the day and rebound in crude oil prices.
“Oil prices edged higher, helped by US crude inventory figures, lending a positive bias to Asian stocks earlier in the day.” said Anand James Chief Market Strategist of Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services.
Lenders zoomed amid reports that the apex bank eased the pressure on lenders to set aside cash for defaults.
Country’s biggest lender ICICI Bank topped the gainers list by surging 6.26% to Rs 253.05 while state-run SBI too attracted buyers’ attention and jumped 3.68%.
Sensex resumed higher at 25,979.68 and firmed up to cross the 26,000-level after 15 weeks on initial buying, but slumped afterwards to 25,783.12 before ending at 25,880.38, still showing a gain of 36.20 points or 0.14%.
The gauge had gained over 1,170 points in the past five sessions on the back of upbeat macroeconomic data, forecast of an above-normal monsoon and Infosys’ strong revenue guidance.
The NSE Nifty snapped six-day rally, slipping marginally by 2.70 points or 0.03% to close at 7,912.05. It had gained 368.30 points or 4.88 % in the last six days.
Shares of Wipro, India’s third-largest IT firm, fell by 7.01% as the company reported 1.6% drop in net profit to Rs 2,235 crore due to pressure on margins even as it aims to double revenue to USD 15 billion by 2020, while its board approved a Rs 2,500-crore share buy-back plan.
Besides, sentiment turned cautious after the Uttarakhand High Court quashed the imposition of President’s rule in the state and revived the Congress government headed by Harish Rawat. The development may make the political wrangling worst at the national level.
Overseas, most Asian markets ended higher with the Japan’s Nikkei ending 2.70% up and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 1.82%. European indexes were in a better shape in ahead a euro zone interest rate decision amid overnight gains on the Wall Street.