Markets end little changed ahead of US Fed outcome; Lupin top loser

The benchmark indices ended lower on Wednesday tracking mixed trend seen in Asian and European markets as investors pondered over the chances of another rise in interest rates next month ahead of the US Federal Reserve's policy outcome due later in the day.

As per Reuters, the US Fed is widely expected to stand pat on interest rates, but may drop hints on the possibility of a rate hike in June.

The S&P BSE Sensex closed at 29,894 down 26 points, while the broader Nifty50 settled at 9,311 down 2 points.

In the broader market, the BSE Midcap pared all gains to end 0.3% lower, while the BSE Smallcap ended little changed.

The breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, turned negative from positive. On the BSE, 1,488 shares declined and 1,357 shares rose. A total of 161 shares were unchanged.

"Despite better-than-expected quarterly results, the market is consolidating as investors awaited US Fed’s policy outcome later today. Fed is expected to hold interest rate as it may wait for more signs of stability in the economy to hinge for further hike. Stock-specific movement encouraged the market participants to gain faith in every consolidation which continues to provide positive support to the market," said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services.

Sectors and stocks

Among NSE sectoral indices, all but Nifty Realty (up 1.5%), Nifty IT (up 1.2%) and Nifty PSU Bank (up 1%) settled in red.  

Among individual stocks, ICICI Bank slipped over 1% to Rs 273 ahead of its March quarter results due later in the day. 

Lupin, HDFC, Tata Motors and Maruti Suzuki were the top losers on Sensex and dipped anywhere between 1-3%.

Shares of Godrej Properties rallied 14% to Rs 575 in intraday trade after the company announced that it has sold over 1000 apartments across three new project launches since March 2017. The stock settled 7% higher at Rs 542.

SpiceJet hit a record high of Rs 116.90, up 4% on BSE in intra-day trade, surpassing its previous high of Rs 115 touched on September 5, 2005.

The stock has zoomed 104% thus far in the calendar year 2017 from Rs 57.20 on December 30, 2016. By comparison, the S&P BSE Sensex rose during the same period, while peers Jet Airways and InterGlobe Aviation added 54% and 38%, respectively.

Meanwhile, engineering company IRB Infrastructure became the first firm to announce a public offer in the InvITs space with a Rs 5,000 crore plus the public issue of its fund opening today.

The IPO, which is the first in this segment, closes on May 5 and commands a price band of Rs 100-102 per unit.

US Fed meet

Since December, the US central bank has finally begun to deliver on long-disappointed expectations of a steady rise in borrowing costs and an increase in official rates June is now almost 60% priced in by markets.

But US economic numbers in the past month have been less convincing, and the latest gains for global share prices look as much the product of an improving recovery in Europe as the US-based optimism that dominated the end of last year.

Global markets

European stock markets retreated from 20-month highs. The STOXX 600 index of leading European shares was down 0.2%. France's CAC 40 and Germany's DAX fell 0.3% and 0.2%, respectively while the resource-heavy FTSE 100 dipped 0.3%.

After a mixed Asian session, with a number of major markets closed, the MSCI global share index was marginally lower on the day. China’s Shanghai Composite ended 0.3% down.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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