Domestic equity barometer Sensex ended with nominal gains on April 20 as concerns over rate hikes by the US Fed and unimpressive March quarter earnings continued weighing on sentiment.
Major global markets looked subdued as investors expect at least one more rate hike by the US Fed in May. The deteriorating outlook of global growth and mixed quarterly earnings are keeping the risk appetite of investors low.
The top US markets - Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq - ended in the red overnight. Among the Asian peers, Nikkei ended with mild gains of 0.18 percent. Korea's Kospi ended half a percent lower and China's Shanghai Composite Index ended lower by 0.09 percent.
Among the European markets, UK's FTSE, French CAC 40 and German DAX, traded in the red today.
It was almost a flat ending for the Sensex and Nifty after a volatile trade. The Sensex closed with a mild gain of 65 points, or 0.11 percent, at 59,632.35. The Nifty50 settled at 17,624.45, up 6 points, or 0.03 percent.
Mid and smallcaps also remained lacklustre. The BSE Midcap index ended 0.03 percent lower while the Smallcap index closed with a small gain of 0.10 percent.
Oil prices fell to their lowest in about three weeks on April 20, depressed by a firmer dollar and rate hike expectations which outweighed lower US crude stocks, reported Reuters.
The rupee rose 8 paise to close at 82.15 per dollar.
Top Nifty gainers and losers
Some 26 stocks ended in the green while 23 declined and one stock - Tata Steel - ended flat in the Nifty index.
Shares of NTPC (up 1.50 percent), Adani Ports (up 1.46 percent) and Asian Paints (up 1.43 percent) ended in the green in the Nifty index.
On the flip side, shares of Divi's Labs (down 4.03 percent), Hindustan Unilever (down 1.52 percent) and Dr Reddy's Labs (down 1.21 percent) ended as the top losers in the Nifty pack.
Sectoral indices end up mixed
Among the sectoral indices, Nifty Pharma lost 1.11 percent to end as the top loser, followed by the Nifty Healthcare index (down 0.89 percent).
Nifty Realty (down 0.43 percent), Metal (down 0.39 percent), FMCG (down 0.36 percent), Oil & Gas (down 0.24 percent), IT (down 0.19 percent) and PSU Bank (down 0.11 percent) also ended in the red.
Among the gainers, Nifty Consumer Durables (up 0.36 percent) remained at the top, followed by Nifty Private Bank (up 0.31 percent).
Experts' views on markets
Shrikant Chouhan, Head of Equity Research (Retail) at Kotak Securities underscored that the markets ended the three-day losing streak on selective buying in financials, telecom and utility stocks.
"The market had run up sharply over the past week or so, but with FIIs turning sellers in the last few sessions and global central banks signalling more hawkish bets going ahead, traders are maintaining a cautious stance," said Chouhan.
Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services observed that the ongoing Q4 earnings season is the focus area of the market.
"It has a negative bias due to lower than anticipated initial results announced, especially in the IT sector. The global market has been unsupportive due to the expectation of another rate hike and mixed earnings released in the US. Given cautious global sentiment withdrawal by FIIs during the week has hampered the market trend," said Nair.
Technical views on markets
Chouhan pointed out that the market is witnessing a non-directional activity near the 200-day SMA (simple moving average) and is also holding a lower top formation on intraday charts.
"Any fresh uptrend is possible only after the dismissal of the 17,700 level and above the same, the index could move up till 17,800-17,825. On the flip side, below 17,700, the weak sentiment is likely to continue till 17,550-17,500 levels," said Chouhan.
Jatin Gedia, Technical Research Analyst at Sharekhan by BNP Paribas said that for the last four trading sessions, Nifty has been consolidating in the broad range of 17,500 – 17,800. On the daily charts, Nifty is trading around the 200-day moving average (17,596) which is absorbing the selling pressure and also restricting a further drift.
"The daily momentum indicator has triggered a fresh negative crossover, however, we believe that it is on the back of sideways price action for the last four trading sessions," said Gedia.
"Until the Nifty breaks below the crucial support zone of 17,550 – 17,500, we should assign less weightage to this sell signal. During this phase of consolidation, we can expect sector rotation and stock-specific price action. The range of consolidation is likely to be 17,500 – 17,800 for the next few trading sessions," Gedia said.
Key market data
Disclaimer: The views and recommendations given in this article are those of individual experts. These do not represent the views of MintGenie.