NEW DELHI: Domestic equity indices finished the last day of August F&O series on a muted note as losses in bank, financial, auto and OMC stocks undid the gains in metals, FMCG and IT shares.
Bearish sentiment in other Asian markets hurt Dalal Street, too. China stocks fell over 1 per cent on concerns that Beijings ongoing trade conflict with the US may go on as, the latter proceeds with trade treaties with other North American and European counterparts.
With tariffs beginning to hurt the Chinese economy, Asian stocks lost some of their gains. European shares opened weak in the afternoon on concerns over trade relations between the worlds two largest economies, Reuters reported.
A sharp fall in the rupee and a surge in global crude oil prices also remained key overhangs on the market. The rupee touched a record low of 70.8625 on Thursday as the greenback fell for the fifth consecutive session on Thursday.
The Sensex ended the session at 38,690, down 32.83 points, or 0.08 per cent, with 15 stocks advancing and 16 declining. The Nifty50 settled 15.10 points, or 0.13 per cent, lower at 11,676, with 25 stocks ending in the green and an equal number in the red.
The BSE Midcap and Smallcap indices outperformed the Sensex, rising 0.43 per cent and 0.27 per cent, respectively.
Let's walk you through the highlights of today's trade:
Who moved my Sensex
Reliance Industries (RIL) emerged as the top drag, contributing 66.48 points to the fall in Sensex. The scrip, falling for the second consecutive session, closed 1.57 per cent down at Rs 1,274.10. The stock snapped its eight-session gaining streak on Wednesday. Global brokerage firm Jefferies retained underperform rating on the oil-to-telecom behemoth. It expects RILs refining margins to ease from highs of the 2017-18 financial year as refining demand supply becomes less benign.
Other than RIL, HDFC, HDFC Bank, Maruti Suzuki and IndusInd Bank also featured among the top drag on Sensex in that order.
ITC at 52-week high
ITC stock touched a 52-week high of Rs 320, eventually settling 2.08 per cent higher at Rs 319.20. BofAML maintained a buy rating on stock with a price target of Rs 360 with 15 per cent potential upside. The cigarette makers June quarter numbers met analyst estimates and cigarette volume growth at 1.5 per cent, which came on a base of the best quarter of FY18, has managed to impress. Besides the valuation discount to its FMCG peers, ITCs efforts to shift focus towards other business verticals and hopes of stabilisation of cigarette volumes are giving the stock a lift, say analysts.
The rupee has been on a record-setting spree in terms of its fall. It touched its fresh record low of 70.86 against the US dollar today. Higher crude oil prices and sustained demand for the US dollar has been adding to rupee's fall. Trade deficit- mostly because of India's unrelenting demand for oil- is a major reason behind rupee's fall. A widening trade deficit is dragging the rupee down as more imports require India to buy more foreign currencies.
52-week highs & lows
As many as 58 stocks, including Aarvee Denims & Exports, ABM International, Accelya Kale Solutions and Bombay Rayon Fashions, hit 52-week lows on NSE on Thursday.
However, ITC, JSW Steel, Atul, City Union Bank, Delta Magnets, Electrosteel Steels and Fine Organic Industries featured among 25 stocks that hit 52-week highs on NSE.
PNB, MTNL, RCapital among 53 stocks ready to rally
Momentum indicator moving average convergence divergence, or MACD, on Thursday showed bullish crossovers on 53 counters on NSE. Among the stocks that saw bullish crossovers were Punjab National Bank, Bank of India, Reliance Capital, MTNL, Greaves Cotton and Syndicate Bank.
The MACD is known for signalling trend reversal in a traded security or index. It also signalled bearish crossovers on 48 counters on NSE, indicating sell signals. The stocks included NCC, Voltas, Bajaj Finance, Pidilite Industries and Havells India.
Market experts say the MACD alone may not be a sufficient indicator to help take an investment call. Traders should make use of other indicators such as Relative Strength Index (RSI), Bollinger Bands, Fibonacci Series, candlestick patterns and Stochastic to confirm an emerging trend.
Retail investors should consult financial experts before buying or selling a stock based on such technical indicators.