The benchmark indices have registered modest gains of about half a per cent each, amid bouts of choppiness, after two successive days of a uni-directional Budget driven rally that catapulted the benchmark indices higher by around 8 per cent. The BSE Sensex touched a record high of 50,231.39 at opening bell, continuing with the rally that started on Budget Day, but was unable to sustain the gains. At 10:00 am, the BSE Sensex was at 50,080.55, higher by 260 points or 0.56 per cent and the NSE Nifty was at 14,,745.50, up 91 points or 0.6 per cent. The broader markets were outperforming their larger peers, with the BSE Midcap index and BSE Smallcap index gaining nearly a per cent each.
On the IPO front, Home First Finance will make its market debut today. The company’s Rs 1,154-crore initial public offering, which was open between January 21 and 25, was subscribed 27 times.
Meanwhile, foreign institutional investors (FIIs) net bought shares worth Rs 6,181.56 crore and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) net sold shares worth Rs 2,035.2 crore in the equity markets on February 2, provisional data available on the NSE. The S&P BSE Sensex had rallied 1,197.11 points or 2.46 per cent to 49,797.72 and NSE Nifty had climbed 366.70 points or 2.57 per cent to 14,647.90.
Pharma stocks were witnessing buying interest. Dr Reddy’s zoomed 4 per cent to top the gainers list among BSE Sensex stocks after a report said India is expected to grant emergency use authorization for Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine soon. Cipla and Sun Pharma also gained 3 per cent and 2 per cent respectively. And Tata Motors extended its ongoing rally by another 2 per cent at Rs 330.
On the other hand, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Maruti Suzuki, Nestle and HDFC Bank were the top Sensex laggards, slipping around 1 per cent each.
Among stocks in the news, Future Retail shares shed 5 per cent after the Delhi court blocked Future Group’s retail asset sale to Reliance Industries on objections raised by e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc. Reliance Industries shares fell 0.98 per cent and was the biggest drag on the index.
The BSE market breadth was strong. Out of 2,238 stocks traded on the BSE, there were 1,423 advancing stocks as against 708 declines.