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Sensex Flat Around 51,250 Amid Choppy Trading; Steel Stocks Witness Buying

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ITC has edged lower by 0.2 per cent ahead of its Q3 results scheduled later in the day

The domestic stock markets have opened flat, with a negative bias, continuing with consolidation seen in the past 2 trading sessions post the Budget rally. At 9:19 am, the BSE Sensex was trading at 51,296.15, lower by 29.25 points and the NSE Nifty was at 15,105.25, down 3 points. The broader markets are outperforming their largecap peers, with the BSE Midcap index and BSE Smallcap index gaining 0.3 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively.

Stocks were flat in early trading in Asia on Thursday as investors kept tapping the brakes on runs in asset prices after taking in tepid U.S. inflation data and comments from the Federal Reserve chief affirming the outlook for a slow recovery.

Overnight, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq edged slightly lower as big tech stocks slid amid an ongoing rotation of portfolio holdings that gave a boost to energy shares and kept the overall market near record highs.

On the stock-specific front, Eicher Motors has shed more than 5 per cent to top the loser’s list on the BSE a day after its Q3 numbers. The auto major had posted a 7 per cent rise in net profit at Rs 532.6 crore in the third quarter of the current financial year compared to Rs 498.70 crore in the year-ago period. The company’s revenue from operations rose 19.3 per cent year-on-year to Rs 2,828.3 crore.

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JSW Steel, ICICI Bank and Tata Motors have lost around a per cent each. And ITC has edged lower by 0.2 per cent at Rs 227 ahead of its Q3 results scheduled later in the day.

On the other hand, steel stocks are witnessing buying interest. Tata Steel and Hindalco have bucked the weak trend to gain around a per cent each on the BSE.  Adani Ports and Cipla are among the other significant gainers.

The BSE market breadth was strong. Out of 2,045 stocks traded on the BSE, there were 1,273 advancing stocks as against 677 declines.

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