Opening Bell: Sensex, Nifty flat after starting at record highs; smallcaps outperform

Indian equity benchmark indices, Sensex and Nifty pared Thursday’s opening gains, tracking the mixed trends in Asia. The broader investor sentiment remained positive after the US Federal Reserve maintained benchmark interest rates near zero.

At 9:15 am, the Sensex started 0.23 percent, or 107.86 points, higher at 46,774.32, while the Nifty50 index opened at 13,713.55, up 30.85 points, or 0.23 percent.

Broader markets, Nifty Smallcap100 and Nifty Midcap100 indices outperformed the benchmarks, trading 0.82 and 0.33 percent higher, respectively.

Among sectoral indices, the Nifty Auto, Nifty Metal, Nifty Pharma and Nifty Realty saw the most gains while Nifty FMCG, Nifty IT and Nifty PSU Bank traded lower in the early morning session.

ONGC, Divi’s Laboratories, Shree Cement, Hindalco and IndusInd Bank were the Nifty50 top gainers, while Hindustan Unilever, Nestle India, Wipro, Asian Paints and Titan Company were the top index losers.

Burger King India’s share price continued its bullish run, locked at the upper circuit of 10 percent.

Jubilant FoodWorks also gained over 2 percent after the company launched its Biryani brand, Ekdum.

Globally, Asian stocks perched near-record heights, the dollar languished at two-year lows and oil prices stood at their strongest since March on Thursday, as monetary support and the hope of fiscal stimulus in the United States put traders in a festive mood, a Reuters report said.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.3 percent to touch an all-time high. Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.2 percent, though both fell back to flat while investors waited for US lawmakers to agree on stimulus.

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