Weakness in global markets on concerns over the slow pace of COVID-19 vaccine rollout and likely delay in the passing of a new US fiscal stimulus bill also weighed on the performance of the domestic market.
The Nifty 50 index ended 149.95 points, or 1.1 per cent, lower at 13,817.55 points, while the BSE-Sensex closed at 46,874.36, down 1.1 per cent or 535.6 points.
In the broader market, the selling pressure was less intense as the Nifty Midcap 100 and Nifty Smallcap 100 index closed 0.6 per cent and 0.7 per cent lower, respectively.
Here are the major movers in the today’s trade:
HDFC Bank, Kotak Bank top laggards
The two of the largest retail-oriented banks in the country took a heavy beating in the session and were the biggest contributors to the market’s fall today. HDFC Bank ended 2.7 per cent lower and contributed 35 points to the Nifty 50’s fall. Similarly, Kotak Mahindra Bank slipped 2.1 per cent and led to a 12-point fall in the benchmark.
HUL tanks post earnings
Street was not best pleased with the soap-to-shampoo company’s December quarter earnings announced post-market on Wednesday, as the stock tanked nearly 4 per cent. Investors were disappointed by the underlying volume growth of merely 4 per cent for the company.
United Spirits fizzles out post earnings
The alcohol maker’s stock tanked nearly 8 per cent after investors were underwhelmed by its December quarter earnings performance. The company had reported a 4 per cent decline in net sales and a near 12 per cent fall in net profit for the December quarter.
Maruti Suzuki’s margins spark concerns
The country’s largest automaker saw its stock end 3.5 per cent lower as investors were concerned over the weaker-than-expected operating margin reported by the company for the December quarter and the trend of downtrading by customers that may weigh on future margin performance.
Axis Bank soared post Q3 earnings
While HUL and Maruti Suzuki took a beating after their Q3 earnings, Axis Bank’s stock surged nearly 6 per cent despite reporting weaker-than-expected earnings for the December quarter. The gains were largely driven by optimistic commentary from analysts on the lender’s prospects.
What gave buy signal?
Despite the general weakness that has pervaded the domestic market in recent sessions as many as 16 stocks listed on the National Stock Exchange gave buy signal based on MACD indicator including Tata Motors, Granules India, Asian Granito and Dhani Services.
What’s ahead for the market?
Cues from the derivatives segment did not make a good reading for the market’s fate as traders aggressively bought out-of-money put options of the Nifty 50 index expiring on February 25. The aggressive put options buying suggested that traders are bracing for more volatility and correction in the index.
On the technical front, Manish Hathiramani of Deen Dayal Investments said that the 13,700 points level has acted as a good support for the Nifty 50. “What needs to be seen is if we can keep above this level over the next few days. If we break 13700, we could slide down to 13500-13600 and then to 13200,” he added.