Share Market Today: Sensex, Nifty End with Marginal Gains ahead of Lok Sabha Exit Polls

After enduring a prolonged spell of volatility, the Indian equity markets managed to stage a modest recovery on Friday, breaking a five-day losing streak. With the final phase of Lok Sabha elections looming on Saturday and the anticipation surrounding exit poll results, investors adopted a cautious stance, leading to mixed sentiments across sectors.

Key Market Movements

The S&P BSE Sensex eked out gains of 76 points, closing at 73,961, while the NSE Nifty50 settled at 22,531, up by 42 points. However, market gains were tempered by persistent volatility, with both benchmarks paring initial gains as uncertainty loomed over the political landscape.

On the Sensex, notable gainers included Tata Steel, Bajaj Finance, HDFC Bank, IndusInd Bank, and M&M, while Nestle, TCS, Maruti, Infosys, Asian Paints, and HUL faced downward pressure.

Sectoral Performance

Sectorwise, the Nifty IT and Media indices witnessed declines of around 1.3 per cent each, reflecting subdued investor sentiment. Conversely, the Nifty Realty index surged by 2.34 per cent, followed by the Nifty PSU Bank index, which rose by 1.28 per cent, buoyed by favorable market conditions.

Market Analyst Insights

Vinod Nair, Head of Research at Geojit Financial Services, noted the conclusion of pre-election trading strategies, with investors eagerly awaiting exit poll results for further direction. He highlighted regional diversions, marginally low voter turnout, and resistance at current levels as factors prompting caution among investors.

Global Market Dynamics

In Asian markets, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul, and Hong Kong experienced mixed trading sentiments, while European stock markets trended lower. Major indices on Wall Street closed lower on Thursday, reflecting global market uncertainties.

Commodity and Currency Updates

Global oil benchmark Brent crude declined by 0.40 per cent to $81.53 a barrel. Meanwhile, the Indian rupee faced headwinds, slipping by 20 paise to settle at 83.49 against the US dollar. Forex traders attributed this decline to volatile domestic equity markets and continued outflow of foreign funds. Increased month-end demand for the greenback by oil marketing companies further weighed on the Indian currency, despite some support stemming from lower crude oil prices.

Conclusion

As India navigates through the final phase of elections and awaits crucial exit poll results, the stock markets remain on edge, oscillating between optimism and caution. While sectoral dynamics continue to evolve amidst political uncertainties, global market trends and currency movements add further layers of complexity to the investment landscape. Investors remain vigilant, poised to recalibrate strategies in response to unfolding developments, both domestically and globally.

News Bureau
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