The Sensex and Nifty fell marginally today. A surge in IT stocks led by Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS) helped cap losses. The shares of India’s biggest IT company today surged nearly 7 per cent after its fourth-quarter earnings beat market expectations.
Investors cheered the results of TCS, sending its shares to an all-time high after the country’s top software services exporter posted its biggest-ever profit on Thursday.
Bond yields spiked today as minutes of the central bank’s policy panel meeting stoked expectations of an interest rate hike. This led to sharp losses in banking stocks while the rupee dropped to its lowest in more than a year.
“Release of the minutes revive the risk of an earlier-than-expected rate hike,” Morgan Stanley said in a note. Asian markets fell today, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan losing 0.8 per cent.
The Sensex ended 11 points lower at 34,415 while Nifty slipped by 1 point to 10,564.
“Markets will remain volatile this year as they are making new highs and factors such as upcoming elections, crude prices and dollar will only add to the volatility,” Sudhakar Pattabiraman, head of research operations at William O’Neil’s MarketSmith.
Oil dipped on Friday but stayed near three-year highs reached earlier this week, with the ongoing Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)-led supply cuts and strong demand gradually drawing down excess supplies.
The underlying sentiment in India, however, is positive and the earnings season will set the future trajectory for the markets, Mr Pattabiraman said.
Metal stocks lost shine with the NSE metal index shedding 0.7 per cent following a five-session winning run.
However, IT stocks shrugged off the weakness in broader market with the NSE IT index rising nearly 5 per cent.