Sensex ends flat; Nifty Settles At 8,095


Mumbai: After its biggest drop in over four months last week, market on Monday remained sandwiched in a tight band by ending with measly gains amid mixed global conditions. There was an element of choppiness too ahead of the June derivative contract expiry coming up on Thursday. Investors still are a worried lot as they tried to digest the full impact of the Brexit fallout. However, the broader markets came up a little better as they outperformed Sensex, with the small-cap index rising 1.52 per cent and the mid-cap 0.80 per cent.

Sugar companies found themselves in a sweet spot as stocks led by Dalmia Bharat Sugar, Dwarikesh Sugar, Sakthi Sugars and Bajaj Hindusthan soared by up to 20 per cent in an otherwise flat market. The 30-share Sensex closed at 26,402.96, a marginal rise of 5.25 points, or 0.02%. The gauge had plunged nearly 605 points on Friday, its biggest single-day fall since February 11, as a shock victory for 'Leave' camp in the UK referendum sent shivers down the spine of global markets. The NSE Nifty ended higher 6.10 points, or 0.08%, at 8,094.70 after shuttling between 8,039.35 and 8,120.65.

In the Sensex pack, Dr Reddy's was on top of the gainers' list by climbing 3.04%, followed by SBI (2.77%). "Domestic sentiment was given a bit of a boost after global credit rating agency Moody's Investors Service reportedly said in a note that the Indian government's recent decision to relax FDI rules is credit positive," said Shreyash Devalkar, fund manager equities, BNP Paribas Mutual Fund. Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors sold shares worth net Rs 629.14 crore last Friday, provisional data showed. In the 30-share Sensex basket, 14 rose while 14 declined and 2 remained unchanged.

Other major gainers were Sun Pharma (2.67%), Cipla (2.62%), Larsen (2.36%), ITC Ltd (1.60%) and Adani ports (1.11%). Shares of software services exporters such as TCS, Infosys and Wipro remained under selling pressure and dropped by up to 2.93% due to their sizeable exposure to Europe. Healthcare rose 2.01%, capital goods 1.62%, realty 1.29%, FMCG 1.25%, oil & gas 1.07% and consumer durables 1.03%. Overseas, it was a mixed picture for Asia. Japan's Nikkei ended up 2.39% and Shanghai Composite gained 1.45% while Hang Seng shed 0.16% and Singapore fell 0.20%. European stock markets mostly retreated as a key British policymaker tried to douse the fire after last week's shock Brexit vote. UK's FTSE and France's CAC went up by up to 1.46% while Germany's DAX fell 1.32%.