Sensex, Nifty stall ahead of macro data, earnings; TCS, Infosys gain 2%, HPCL, IOC, BPCL extend losses

Indian stock markets started flatly on Thursday as investors turned cautious ahead of the major macroeconomic data including inflation figures for the month of March 2018 and the onset of fourth-quarter and the year ended 31 March 2018. BSE Sensex opened at 33987.55, up by 47.11 points while NSE Nifty started at 10,410.65, down by 6.5 points on Thursday. Shares of IT companies extended the gains for the second consecutive day with Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys leading the Sensex. Other shares which also surged include Tata Motors, ONGC, Wipro, Reliance Industries.

The stock of Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys extended the rise for the second straight day with TCS gaining 2.5% and Infosys surging 2%. Shares of Oil marketing companies dropped for the second day on reports that government may ask to absorb Re 1 per litre price hike. Shares of HPCL, BPCL, IOCL tumbled up to 3% on Thursday. On Wednesday, the oil marketers witnessed a heavy drop in their respective share prices on news reports that Indian government may ask the refiners to absorb Re 1 per litre hike and in turn pass on the maximum benefits to the customers.

Wall Street stocks fell on Wednesday as possible U.S. military action against Syria stoked investor concerns about the geopolitical risk to the American economy and minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee sparked worries about a more hawkish view on interest-rate increases, Reuters said in a report. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 218.55 points or 0.9% to 24,189.45, the S&P 500 lost 14.68 points or 0.55% to 2,642.19 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 25.28 points or 0.36% to 7,069.03.

Earlier yesterday, Indian stock and forex markets closed apparently opposite in terms of appreciation with Sensex finishing in green and rupee settling in red to a five-month low with 23 blue-chip stocks surging more than 1% among the top 100 companies on NSE. The S&P BSE Sensex gained 60.19 points or 0.18% to finish the day at 33,940.44 while NSE Nifty added 14.9 points or 0.14% to close at 10,417.15. The benchmark indices Sensex and Nifty ended up with gains for the fifth straight day on Wednesday. Nifty Next 50 too fared 0.14% to end at 30,005.95 while the most tracked sectoral index of NSE, Nifty Bank shed 0.51% to settle above 25,000-mark at 25,098.25.

On contrary to the domestic equities, the INR fell heavily against the US dollar at the interbank foreign exchange market on Wednesday. The rupee dropped as much as 32 paise or 0.49% to a five-month low 65.31 apiece US dollar on Wednesday. During the day, the domestic currency shuttled between the range of 64.98 and 65.31. This is the lowest closing for the rupee since 14 November 2017 when it had ended at 65.42 against the US dollar.

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