Sensex, Nifty end higher, but profit booking drags them from high points

A positive end for the market, but certainly not a result that the bulls would have anticipated, given how the day had started. Consecutive session of gains nudged investors to book profits.

As a result, the Sensex ended more than 200 points from the day’s high points, while the Nifty failed to hold 10,800.

The day began on a strong note as strong Asian cues and SGX Nifty trends hinted at a positive start. Asian markets rallied on the back of hopes of a solution from a trade talks’ meeting between US and China. This spilled over to local markets in India as well. An appreciation in the rupee aided sentiment as well.

Benchmarks extended their gains through the morning session, with the Sensex rising over 300 points as well. The Nifty had clocked 10,800 during the day. During the afternoon, both traded in a tight range.

But post lunch session of the market saw indices taking a turn, as profit booking gripped D-Street. Both indices gave up a huge chunk of their gains, forcing them to end albeit in the green, but off high points.

At the close of market hours, the Sensex was up 155.06 points or 0.43% at 35850.16, while the Nifty was higher by 44.40 points or 0.41% at 10771.80. The market breadth was negative as 1292 shares advanced, against a decline of 1310 shares, while 172 shares were unchanged.

Axis Bank, Tata Motors, and Bharti Infratel gained the most, while Bajaj Auto, Yes Bank, and Indiabulls Housing were the top losers.

Stocks in the news

Shares of Bandhan Bank and Gruh Finance were down over 4 percent on the back of a possible merger of the latter with Bandhan Bank.

Meanwhile, shares of real estate companies rose in trade on the back of a possible GST rate cut for under-construction projects.

Shares of Titan were higher as the company guided for good show during December quarter, and brokerages were upbeat regarding the same too. The stock ended 2 percent higher.

Global research firm CLSA has downgraded Bharat Forge to ‘sell’ from outperform, with a cut in target to Rs 420 from Rs 680. This implies a downside of 38 percent. The stock closed with cuts of 2 percent.

CLSA has downgraded its rating on Bajaj Auto to ‘sell’ from ‘outperform’ and has cut target to Rs 2,450. The stock ended 3 percent lower.

Share price of Tata Motors gained 3 percent on the back of robust JLR UK sales for the month December 2018.

Share price of Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) added more than 1 percent after it commissioned 800 MW thermal unit within a record time of 46 months.

Global Markets

Stocks in Europe were higher on Monday morning, following the rally in Asian markets. Stoxx 600 was up by 0.4 percent.

Stocks in Asia gained as investors looked for a solution to the trade war between the US and China. Nikkei 225 bounced 2.44 percent to close at 20,038.97 while the Topix jumped 2.81 percent to finish its trading day at 1,512.53. South Korea’s Kospi gained 1.34 percent to close at 2,037.10.