The key benchmark indices exhibited a lacklustre movement amid subdued global cues before ending on a flat note. The BSE benchmark index had touched a low of 57,721 in opening deals, but soon recouped losses and touched a high of 58,097. The index thereafter moved in a thin 200-point range (57,800-58,000) for the rest of the day.
The Sensex finally ended with a loss of 91 points at 57,806. The NSE Nifty shut shop at 17,214, down 19 points.
The broader indices, however, finished in the positive zone. The BSE Midcap and the Smallcap indices were up 0.1 per cent and 0.5 per cent, respectively.
The overall breadth also was fairly positive. Out of 3,474 stocks traded on the BSE today, 2,043 advanced while 1,334 declined.
Sun Pharma was the major gainer among the Sensex 30 stocks, and was up 2.5 per cent, after the company announced its plans to set-up an end-to-end manufacturing plant in Andhra Pradesh.
Meanwhile, pharma shares as a sector was one of the top performer. The BSE Healthcare index strengthened by 1.6 per cent. A slew of pharma firm have launched a generic version of Molnupiravir in India post approval for emergency use authorisation from Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) in the backdrop of the Omicron threat.
“Outweighing weak sentiments in most sectors, the pharma sector aided the domestic market to close on a flat note with a positive bias. Emergency Use Authorization of covid vaccines Corbevax and Covovax along with the clearance of anti-viral drug Molnupiravir for restricted use has boosted the appetite for most pharma stocks today. FIIs were net buyers for the first time this month which helped the market. Multiplex stocks have taken a hit following closure of cinema halls due to stricter covid restrictions in Delhi while mid & small caps outperformed”, said Vinod Nair, Head Of Research at Geojit Financial Services.
IndusInd Bank and Dr.Reddy’s were the other major Sensex gainers, up around 1.5 per cent each. Bajaj Finserv and Titan were the other notable gainers.
On the flip side, SBI slipped nearly 2 per cent. ITC, NTPC, Tech Mahindra, Axis Bank, Tata Steel and Kotak Bank were the other major losers.
Among sectoral indices other than the Healthcare index, the auto index was the notable gainer, up 0.4 per cent. On the negative front, BSE Bankex was the top loser, down 0.8 per cent.
In the broader markets, India Glycols was locked at the 20 per cent upper limit. Responsive Industries, Aptech, Rain Industries, Sun Pharma Advanced Research, Poonawala Fincorp, Transport Corporation of India, Graphite India, Cybertech Systems, Nureca, Shiva Mills, HB Stock Holdings, Hi-Tech Pipes, Supriya Lifescience, Manaksia and Sharda Motor were the other major gainers.
Wheras, Religare Enterprises, Jiaprakash Power Ventures, JK Cement, MTNL, Sunteck Realty, Bombay Dyeing, JP Associates, Minda Industries, Kabra Extrusions, Alphageo, Ratnabhumi Developers and Inox Wind were the significant losers.