In the midst of Reserve Bank of India raising key policy rates, the Bombay Stock Exchange benchmark index, Sensex, on Monday ended flat after a range-bound trade due to the nationwide bandh called by the BJP-led NDA and Left parties.
The 30-share bellwether of the BSE settled at 17441.44, down 19.51 points, or 0.11 per cent.
Similarly, National Stock Exchange's 50-share Nifty index finished 0.02 per cent lower at 5235.90.
Marketmen attributed limited trade to the Bharat Bandh called to protest hike in fuel prices and rising inflation.
The total volume of trade fell to Rs. 2,857.42 crore from last Friday's level of Rs. 4,554.87 crore.
Restricted trading notwithstanding, ADAG stocks Reliance Power and RNRL saw brisk trading after the boards of the two companies approved the merger between them in an all-share deal estimated at Rs. 50,000 crore.
Reliance Natural Resources (RNRL) tanked 27 per cent at Rs. 46.30, while Reliance Power gained 3.57 per cent to Rs. 181.40. Analysts said RNRL plunged as shareholders of the company judged the 1:4 share swap merger deal not sweet enough.
Reliance Power was the highest traded stock with a turnover of Rs. 199.07 crore. Except Reliance Power, all other ADAG entities ended in the red. Reliance Communications plunged 2.88 per cent to Rs. 185.60 and was the biggest loser in the Sensex pack.
“It seems the euphoria of fuel price deregulation is now over,” Prakash Diwan, Networth Stock Broking's Head of Institutional Sales, said.
Reliance Industries, which carries the maximum weight in the Sensex, slipped by 0.06 per cent to Rs. 1,067.80.
Among the 30 Sensex components, 18 closed with losses while 12 scrips settled in the green.
Among IT companies, Infosys rose by 0.51 per cent to Rs. 2,743 while Wipro went up by 0.89 per cent to Rs. 389.60. However, TCS ended in the red with a loss of 0.52 per cent at Rs. 739.60.
Marketmen said that sluggish activity in brokerage houses due to the national bandh resulted in a dip in trading volumes, leading to a weak trading sentiment.
“The impact of the Bharat Bandh by the opposition parties was clearly visible on the Bombay Stock Exchange as volumes were sluggish, which indicated lack of participation by investors and traders in market,” IIFL Vice-President (Research) Amar Ambani said.
Metal counters continued to underperform due to global factors, mainly signs of the Chinese slowdown. While Hindalco dropped by 1.73 per cent to Rs. 141.60, Tata Steel and Sterlite Industries dipped by 0.70 per cent and 0.22 per cent to Rs. 471.50 and Rs. 160.30 respectively.
The rupee ended marginally lower against the dollar at 46.77/78 on Monday after a restricted trade due to the nationwide strike called by the opposition parties. It closed at 46.77 last Friday. At the interbank foreign exchange market, the rupee opened slightly higher at 46.73/74 and moved in a range of 46.68 and 46.83.