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Markets End Flat as RBI Minutes Weigh; Post 4th Weekly Rise

Tech shares zoomed after the country's largest software exporter TCS on Thursday reported a 4.4 per cent growth in its consolidated net profit at Rs 6,904 crore for the March 2018 quarter and guided towards a better show in fiscal 2019.

PTI

Updated:April 20, 2018, 5:22 PM IST
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Markets End Flat as RBI Minutes Weigh; Post 4th Weekly Rise
Representative image.
Mumbai: Stocks weathered yet another choppy session to end marginally lower on Friday as investors baulked at the prospects of higher interest rates after minutes of RBI's last policy meeting indicated a shift towards a hawkish stance in June.

However, tech shares zoomed after the country's largest software exporter TCS on Thursday reported a 4.4 per cent growth in its consolidated net profit at Rs 6,904 crore for the March 2018 quarter and guided towards a better show in fiscal 2019.

TCS was the top performer in the Sensex pack with a gain of 6.76 per cent, followed by Infosys at 4.02 per cent.

The 30-share Sensex, after moving between 34,311.29 and 34,487.33, finally settled 11.71 points, or 0.03 per cent, lower at 34,415.58.

The broader NSE Nifty closed 1.25 points, or 0.01 per cent down at 10,564.05. Intra-day, it shuttled between 10,527.45 and 10,582.35.

Both the key indices ended higher for the fourth straight week. The Sensex rose by 222.93 points, or 0.65 per cent while the NSE Nifty gained 83.45 points, or 0.80 per cent, during the period.

Release of the minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting after market hours yesterday indicated that the Reserve Bank may shift to a hawkish monetary stance in June, which dented investor sentiment.

Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold shares worth Rs 624.99 crore on net basis, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought equities to the tune of Rs 448.61 crore yesterday, as per provisional data.

Sustained capital outflows by foreign funds, profit-booking in recent gainers and surging global crude prices were major factors behind today's negative trend, brokers said.

"Market traded range-bound due to weak global cues and surge in oil price and yield while banks under-performed after RBI's hawkish view in their minutes.

"IT index outperformed on account of strong set of earnings which in turn curtailed a fall in the market. Investors will continue to monitor the corporate results to confirm the earnings recovery while improvement in capacity utilisation and IIP growth of above 7 per cent during the last two months is giving a positive impetus," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

Yes Bank was the top loser among Sensex constituents, declining 3 per cent, followed by ICICI Bank at 2.49 per cent.

Other laggards were Tata Steel, SBI, HDFC Ltd, NTPC, L&T, RIL, Adani Ports, Axis Bank, Asian Paints, IndusInd Bank,

Sun Pharma, Dr Reddy's, ONGC, Maruti Suzuki, Power Grid and ITC, falling by up to 2.29 per cent.

Sector-wise, realty fell 1.07 per cent, bankex 1.04 per cent, power 0.98 per cent, PSU 0.88 per cent, capital goods 0.88 per cent, infrastructure 0.76 per cent, metal 0.65 per cent and oil and gas 0.64 per cent.

The BSE IT index rallied 4.80 per cent, while teck and auto also finished higher.

The broader markets depicted a mixed trend. The BSE mid-cap index fell 0.44 per cent, while the small-cap index inched up 0.02 per cent.

Coming to global markets, in the Asian region, Japan's Nikkei fell 0.13 per cent, Shanghai Composite Index shed

1.47 per cent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng declined 0.94 per cent.

In the Eurozone, markets were trading lower in their early deals as investors monitored a fresh batch of corporate earnings and economic data. Frankfurt's DAX was down 0.10 per cent and Paris CAC edged lower by 0.01 per cent. London's FTSE, however, was up 0.40 per cent.

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| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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