The Sensex and Nifty weathered yet another choppy session on Tuesday to close with modest gains as participants chose to book profits amid elevated global crude oil prices and geopolitical uncertainties. ICICI Bank was the star performer in today's session, comfortably topping the gainers' list by surging nearly 7 per cent.
The private sector lender on Monday reported a 45 per cent drop in March quarter net profit following a spike in bad loans due to changes in asset classification norms.
However, investors took heart from the management's commentary that the bulk of the bad loans problem is behind it and the focus now shifts to recoveries and resolution, brokers said. Global crude oil prices hovered above the $75 per barrel mark on uncertainties over the US re-imposing sanctions on Iran, fanning fears of a supply disruption.
The 30-share Sensex opened positive and advanced to the session's high of 35,388.87. However, profit-booking by investors ahead of Karnataka elections this week trimmed the gains, with the gauge sinking to the day's low of 35,136.01. It finally settled 8.18 points or 0.02 per cent higher at 35,216.32.
The NSE Nifty, after hitting a high of 10,758.55, closed at 10,717.80, up just 2.30 points, or 0.02 per cent. It touched a low of 10,689.40 intra-day.
VK Sharma, head, private client group and capital market strategy at HDFC Securities said, "The Nifty closed with a minor gain of 2 points at 10,718 On Tuesday. It was rather a lack luster day for the markets as the declines exceeded advances by a ratio of 9:7. ICICI bank held center stage as it contributed more than 30 pints to the Nifty. Apart from Bank Nifty, Financial Services and Real Estate sectors did well. Media, Autos and Pharma were among the declining sectors. Aditya Birla Capital and Jubilant Foods came out with better than expected numbers but closed mixed. Later tonight, Trump is likely to review the 2015 Iran Deal Inder which sanctions on Iran were lifted. If Trump decides to not to certify that Iran is following the treaty , it could lit a fire under Crude."
Meanwhile, domestic institutional investors (DIIs) net bought shares worth Rs 1,037.23 crore, while foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) sold equities worth Rs 635.24 crore yesterday, provisional data showed. "Market turned volatile as investors are concerned on the movement of rupee and surge in oil price which could eventually lead to tight monetary policy.
"Albeit, banks outperformed as sentiment improved on account of early recognition of stressed assets. Continued outflow of foreign money will keep rupee on tenterhook while increasing GST collection and RBIs open market operation may soften the volatility," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.
In the Sensex pack, ICICI Bank emerged on top with a rise of 6.86 per cent, followed by SBI (1.42 per cent) and Axis Bank (1.18 per cent). Other gainers were Power Grid (1.14 per cent), Bharti Airtel (0.69 per cent), NTPC (0.47 per cent), TCS (0.39 per cent), Maruti Suzuki (0.37 per cent), Coal India (0.34 per cent), Adani Port (0.29 per cent), ITC (0.16 per cent), Dr Reddy's (0.15 per cent) and HUL (0.13 per cent).
However, capital goods slipped 0.85 per cent, consumer durables 0.81 per cent, teck 0.57 per cent, IT 0.53 per cent, auto 0.42 per cent, infrastructure 0.19 per cent, healthcare 0.18 per cent and metal 0.16 per cent. Broader markets showed a mixed trend. The S&P BSE Small-Cap index inched up 0.10 per cent while the mid-cap index shed 0.10 per cent.
Asian markets closed mostly higher following firm leads from Wall Street overnight. However, European shares opened broadly flat as investors prepared for President Donald Trump's decision on whether to withdraw the US from the Iran nuclear deal. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, shed 0.85 per cent to $75.52 a barrel. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.36 per cent, Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.79 per cent and Japan's Nikkei ended 0.18 per cent higher. In Europe, Paris CAC declined 0.42 per cent, while Frankfurt's DAX traded lower by 0.44 per cent in early deals. London's FTSE, however, was up 0.08 per cent.