Sensex ends 137 pts down, Nifty at 10,458 levels; PSU banks fall

The benchmark indices ended marginally lower on Thursday afternoon amid thin trade. The S&P BSE Sensex ended the day at 34,047, down 137 points while the broader Nifty50 index settled at 10,458, down 34 points.

The markets will remain closed on Friday, March 2, 2018, on account of Holi.

Among sectoral indices, Nifty PSU Bank index fell 1.87% on Thursday led by a decline in the shares of Indian Bank, Canara Bank and Bank of India.

Venky’s (India) continued its upward march for the seventh straight trading day, hitting a new high of Rs 4,530, up 15% on the BSE in an otherwise subdued market. The stock rallied 69% from Rs 2,673 on February 20, 2018, as compared to 1.3% rise in the S&P BSE Sensex.

Fortis Healthcare was trading flat on Thursday even after the company reported a consolidated net loss of Rs 191 million for the quarter ended December 2017 against a profit of Rs 4.5 billion year-ago periods.

Meanwhile, shares of tractor maker Escorts ended over a percent lower after rising over 2 percent intraday as the company has posted strong volume growth in the month of February 2018.

MOIL added half a percent on revision of prices of different grades of manganese ore and other products.

Parag Milk Foods ended over 1 percent lower after gaining 2.2 percent as the company has increased the investment limit for non-resident individuals.

Moreover, Tata Motors ended flat after it posted strong growth in the sales numbers for the month of February 2018.

BPCL gained a little over 3 percent on the back of crude price situation as well as a stock view by JPMorgan.

Several auto stocks reacted to their sales data for February. Shares of Bajaj Auto, Maruti Suzuki, along with Tata Motors ended in the green.

ICICI Bank was trading lower for the third straight day, down 2.7% to Rs 305, an over two-month low on the BSE in intra-day trade on Thursday. The stock of private sector lender hit its lowest level since December 12, 2017. In past three trading sessions, ICICI Bank was down 6.7% against 0.89% decline in the S&P BSE Sensex.

Godrej Agrovet rallied 10% to Rs 667 on the BSE in early morning trade in otherwise subdued market on back of heavy volumes. The stock of Godrej Group Company was up 45% against issue price of Rs 460 per share hit its highest level since listing on October 16, 2017. It made a strong debut by gaining 30% to close at Rs 596 on debut day.

Shares of Ashok Buildcon surged 7% to Rs 235 on the BSE in early morning trade after the joint venture (JV) between the company and Macquarie has emerged as the highest bidder for the first batch of toll-operate-transfer (TOT) projects from National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). The venture bid Rs 96.8 billion for the NHAI project.

Here are some picks from the week gone by.